Hannes Richter

Military Robot Saves Blood

Hannes Richter

Foto: Schiebel

Not that war is necessarily the answer to all conflicts - but many modern developments are ignited because of requests for military research. The Federal Armed Forces is too small to be a contractor; nevertheless, new and special techniques come into being because of such things.

"Sweat saves blood," goes an old soldier’s saying. He who digs himself a trench has better chances to survive. Since that time other capabilities are being asked for when fighting a war. Fighting is no longer a matter of who has the superior weapons or better bunkers but the more intelligent systems.

For this reason a middle-sized business in Vienna by the name of Schiebel developed an unmanned miniscule helicopter with a rotor diameter of 3.09 meters that can take off on its own and send back data - whether it be of a dangerous terrorist object, the area along a border or the back-country section of a war front zone. The advantage of small military robs is that they are difficult for the enemy to track down and difficult to fight against - and when they are nonetheless destroyed, then it costs a lot of money but at least no human lives.

In the meantime, Schiebel’s reconnaissance helicopters have aroused, much international attention. Schiebel’s Camcopter has already been sold to the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. Army has tested it together with search devices for mines (also developed by Schiebel) and found them good.

The future of the miniaturization continues. Whereas Austria’s budget allots little for military research, the United States of America has already developed sensors that are no larger than particles of dust, 2 × 2.5 millimeters, and stand guard where sentinels used to keep watch.

High-Tech Replaces Soldiers - The Future of International Cooperation

In an interview with the Austrian newspaper, Der Standard, Kurt Mörz, Arms Director of the Austrian Federal Armed Forces, answered the question as to whether Austria’s military can afford such innovation: "One must understand that the costs are growing astronomically and lesser amounts are being needed because high-tech is replacing our soldiers. That means that a small army can scarcely finance such developments on its own."

Standard: "What does that mean for Austria?"
Mörz: That the tank is probably the last piece of equipment which was produced independently. We must bring Austrian firms into the arena of international development through the European Armament Agency. This would look much like the automobile supply industry which generates a ratio of working capital of 170 percent.

Standard: Where lies the strength of our armament industry?
Mörz: In small-sized businesses with products specializing in high intelligence that fill the market’s niches.