Feeds

Terminator kill-bots to be run by system called 'Skynet'

How many hints do we need? Flee while you can

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Following the announcement of the new Flying-HK-style "Reaper" death machines for the British forces, the prophetic nature of the Terminator movies has been further confirmed.

Not only will the UK MoD deploy airborne cyber-gunships remarkably similar to those in the films, the flying robot assassins will be controlled by an IT project named "Skynet".

This latest case of life imitating art (well, kind of art) was revealed this morning, with the news that the first of the Skynet 5 satellites has gone operational and is now successfully carrying data to and from British forces fighting in Southwest Asia.

"This important milestone is very good news for the armed forces," said Lord Drayson, the Minister for Defence Procurement. "Skynet 5 will supply about 2.5 times the capacity of the old system and generate a very significant improvement for our global communications systems - allowing us to pass more data faster. It is an excellent example of a successful Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal."

This PFI was the largest ever signed by the UK MoD, around £3.6bn in total. The Skynet 5 satellites are run by Paradigm Secure Communications and were built by EADS-Astrium. Skynet 5A was launched into space aboard an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from French Guiana in March, sharing the ride with an Indian TV platform. Skynet 5B and 5C will follow later this year and next.

It seems pretty clear that the Reaper flying kill machines will be run using the Skynet satellites, not any other comms channels.

"Take for example the capability of unmanned air vehicles. These generate a lot of imagery and that has to be passed over a secure communications link," according to Bill Sweetman, technology and aerospace editor for defence analysts Jane's.

"The practice is to offload mundane traffic on to commercial satellites and then to use a complementary, secure proprietary system for the traffic that has to be protected."

And it may not just be the Reapers that are controlled by Skynet. There's no word yet of any plans to cloak Asimo robots in living flesh cloned from large Austrian bodybuilders, but it can only be a matter of time.

"Ground control segments for the new system have been upgraded," reported the Beeb today. "Ships, planes and land vehicles are being equipped to make the best use of the upgraded Skynet."

Or for Skynet to make use of them. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.