Things are starting to look like the future now

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I’ve never been much of a military person. I know people who were in one of the armed forces, or who have a damn-near encyclopedic knowledge of them, but I’m very much a casual observer.

So bear that in mind when I say that this ridiculous drone-thing is so amazingly cool!

If we forget about the fact that it is a machine designed to kill people, and that it’s named TARANIS – ostensibly after a Celtic thunder god, but clearly only because that is a cool name – this is probably the most sci-fi looking thing I’ve seen in years.

Now, I don’t know anything about the tech, nor do I really care. To me, a drone is pretty much a remote-controlled toy writ large and stuffed full of things that explode when you throw them at people. What I do know is that this looks like something you’d see on the cover of a late 80s science fiction novel. Io9 says it looks like a Cylon raider, which it doesn’t really, but it does look like something you’d expect the government to send Torchwood round to cover up.

Because of how militaries seem to word, the same old vehicles and devices tend to stay in use for a long time. The British armed forces are using guns designed in the 1980s – according to my research about things left-handed people can’t use for fear of bodily harm – and intend to do so until 2025. But then they go and build this ridiculous looking thing.

If we have to have wars and killing and all that business, it’s a really odd sort of comfort to me that at least the people designing the weapons have enough imagination to make them look like this.

And also to call it Taranis.