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Published on Oct 21, 2012
Feb 14 - South Korea has developed an automated, turret-based weapon platform capable of locking onto a human target three kilometers away. Tara Cleary reports. It's called the Super Aegis 2 and its one of the most advanced weapons systems ever built. Billed by its manufacturers DoDaam of South Korea as a "Total Security Solution", the Super Aegis is an automated turret system that supports a variety of weapons, from a standard machine-gun to a surface-to-air missile. It is designed to repel an attacker from up to 3 kilometres away, using sophisticated thermal imaging software and camera systems to lock onto a human-sized target even in the dead of night. The system requires no human presence. It's all operated robotically from a distant control room. DoDaam Systems Vice-President Park Sung-ho says the high-tech weapon could become an integral component in South Korea's ongoing military face-off with North Korea across the heavily armed Demilitarised Zone. SOUNDBITE: DODAAM SYSTEMS VICE PRESIDENT PARK SUNG-HO SAYING (Korean): "We have certain circumstance where North and South Korea are confronting each other and currently soldiers are operating a lot of military equipment. If the job can be replaced by non-human guarding and monitoring robots, it could reduce the number of labour forces and military forces. And it could also reduce human losses under real combat situations." Super aEgis 2 detects objects with two cameras: a low-light camera and a thermal imaging camera which senses body temperature. A laser range finder and gyroscopic stabiliser keep the weapon steady in high winds. SOUNDBITE: DODAAM SYSTEMS VICE PRESIDENT PARK SUNG-HO SAYING (Korean): "Super aEgis 2 is a guarding, monitoring combat robot composed of a video part and a shooting part. The video part consists of a day and night colour camera, thermal camera, and Laser range finder which measures the distance. The shooting part consists of a section that uses the incoming image from the video part to detect the object and to destroy it." It's not yet clear though, whether the Super aEgis 2 will be deployed along the border. The 60 year old Armistice Agreement between North and South Korea specifies limits for the weapons each side can point at one another. The super gun's presence may never be known, unless or until it starts firing. Tara Cleary, Reuters.