UN: Quadcopter drone autonomously attacked a human in Libya last year

An STM Kargu-2 drone autonomously attacked fleeing rebels in Libya in May 2020. This may be the first autonomous drone attack on humans. It is unclear how many people were killed in the attack and how often the drones were deployed.

The Libyan government used the drone to attack logistics transports and fleeing rebels, the United Nations said in a report. This quadcopter drone is designed to attack targets without the need for a data connection between the drone and the pilot, according to the report. The drone can therefore independently track down and attack targets, writes the UN.

The Kargu-2 is a quadcopter drone developed by Turkey and manufactured by STM. This is not a semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics, but a Turkish defense company. The drone helped the Libyan government to expel rebels from western Libya last year. The UN shows images of a drone that was brought down in May 2020 to prove that the drone is being used in Libya. Supplying the drone would violate a UN arms embargo against Libya.

The STM site does not mention a Kargu-2 drone, but a regular Kargu drone. This drone can work autonomously as well as with direct control. In autonomous mode, the aircraft uses real-time image processing and machine learning to find targets. The drone can also be used at night and during the day, follow moving targets, has a self-destruct function, 10x optical zoom, a range of five kilometers and can be deployed for half an hour. In the videos below, STM shows how the drones work and attack a target by flying towards it and exploding.

The drone is also used by the Turkish army. The UN does not say what is based on the drone being used in autonomous mode.

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