What’s better than a satellite-linked fixed machine gun? A mobile satellite-linked sniper rifle, simple. And now Ghost Robotics has made this science fiction a reality. In a tweet dated 11 October, 2021 this company revealed the “Latest lethality 6.5 #creedmoor sniper payload from @SWORDINT. Check out the latest partner payloads @AUSAorg Wash DC. Keeping US and allied #sof #warfighter equipped with the latest innovations.” This is truly Next Gen Arms.
Latest lethality 6.5 #creedmoor sniper payload from @SWORDINT. Check out the latest partner payloads @AUSAorg Wash DC. Keeping US and allied #sof #warfighter equipped with the latest innovations. @USSOCOM #defense #defence #NationalSecurity #drone #robotics pic.twitter.com/Dvk6OvL3Bu
— Ghost Robotics (@Ghost_Robotics) October 11, 2021
And this pooch is not one you’ll want to cuddle up with. The tweeted about configuration has a Sword International 6.5mm Creedmoor precision rifle mounted in an armored turret atop a Quadra-pedal “dog like” robotic platform. According to S.W.O.R.D. Defense Systems they call it the SPUR (Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle) Mod 0. This Unmanned Rifle is designed to attach to various unmanned platforms, like the pictured Ghost Robotics Vision 6 quadruped.
The rifle has an effective range of 1200m and can come in 6.5 Creedmmor or in 7.62×51 (NATO). It has varying twist rate barrels offered for each of the 2 calibers of ammunition. The SPUR system only weighs 17 pounds yet is packed with advanced tech. The entire SPUR unit is covered with “Cerakote® GEN II NIR Ceramic Coatings (HIR Series) (which) offer signature management and camouflage against 3rd Generation Night Vision.” Yeah, it’s night vision proof. Ghost Robotics indeed.
Next Gen Eyes And Ears
This next gen arm boasts an impressive sensor load-out as well. Most is top secret but what we do know is the night sensor is “Multiple Teledyne Flir Boson 640X512 Thermal Cameras for enhanced FoV and zoom detail.” And for when the sun is high in the sky, it is equipped with a “30X Optical Zoom EO Sensor (with) LVDS Video Output.” That means it will see you clear as day in bad weather, poor visibility, low light, and night. Bottomline, this Sniper Pooch will be able to place rounds directly in your face no matter where you are.
Not Invincible, yet
But does this ferocious fido have any weaknesses? Yes it does boys and girls, Yes. It. Does. First off, it has diminished range versus other precision rifles in operation today, even of the same caliber. Only about a 3900 foot effective range with either offered caliber. Less than a mile. And this range limitation compounds when we begin to talk about the power plant for this robot demon dog.
There is currently 2 choices to utilize when powering a robotic device such as this, a gasoline engine, or an electric power system. The gasoline systems available are very loud and easily detectable, but they do offer longer time in the Zone of Action. The battery powered electrical choice is stealthy and quiet, but it has a very brief operational ability. This is due to the state of current battery technology and all of the bells and whistles this dog packs, not to mention the 4 leg motors and SPUR turret motor. However, battery technology is advancing everyday. This limitation won’t last long.
The Biggest Weakness…
Drum roll please. And the winner is, capacity. The initial offering only has a 10 round ammunition capacity. I have a larger capacity in my concealed carry pistol. So this is not set up for the squad suppression role. This is set up for taking out one hard target in an AO that is too dangerous for valuable and irreplaceable special operations trained snipers. But again, just like with the electrical system drawbacks due to battery capacity, this is temporary. As better battery and power plant systems become integrated, more ammo will be allowed to be held and more armor. The current configuration is not bullet proof. Resistant, but not proof. The best guess is level 3A+ armor grade can be utilized on this platform. Therefore, level 4 rated weapons are a threat, currently. Any Anti Material platform could easily dispatch this robot sniper demon.
So if you can trick this thing on expending all of its ammo against you and somehow not get hit, you could defeat it. Or if you have a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle or a Barrett .50 cal BMG, you have a chance. But do you really want to go head to camera with a sniper who is sitting comfortably thousands of miles away operating a robotic dog that feels no pain? I sure as hell don’t. Let’s hope this doesn’t get sold to China or Iran.