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Software glitch investigated as possible cause of deadly robot cannon incident

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
October 18, 2007
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According to ITWeb, the South African National Defense Force is now investigating the possibility that a software glitch may have been the cause of deadly anti-aircraft cannon "malfunction" that left nine soldiers dead and 14 seriously wounding during an exercise last Friday. The robot cannon in question is an Oerlikon GDF-005 which, as ITWeb points out, was apparently "not designed for fully automatic control," yet that is just how it was operating in this case, although Oerlikon itself reportedly played no role in the upgrades. While Defense Force spokesman Kwena Mangope apparently isn't going any further than to describe the incident as a "mechanical problem," both the police and a Board of Inquiry are now looking to get to the bottom of the matter, although there's no word as to when they expect to report their findings.

[Via Danger Room, thanks David D]


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