Sarah Connor Has Failed — the British Just Built Skynet

Illustration for article titled Sarah Connor Has Failed — the British Just Built Skynet

With the launch of a new communications satellite, the British military has completed a highly advanced network that will allow robotic military units to be controlled at long range. Sound vaguely familiar? They actually named the thing Skynet. When the T-1000s come knocking, keep an eye out for the "Made in UK" sticker.


Skynet 5 is the latest iteration of a global communications system deployed by the British Armed Forces. The final satellite in the system was launched this week, and will allow high-bandwidth telecommunications between British forces located anywhere in the world. In addition to voice communications, it will allow data transfer and the remote control of robot airplanes, one of which is called "The Reaper." One of the manufacturers was quoted by BBC News as saying:

So, computers can talk directly to computers.

Are you terrified yet? It gets better. The system is actually privately owned and developed - the British Armed Forces are only promised a portion of the bandwidth as part of the contract. The one reassuring aspect is that the company is not called Cyberdyne.

Seriously, what the hell? Is it British humor to name something like this Skynet, or bureaucratic idiocy? Might as well get to work on the self-awareness chip and the "really angry at humans" algorithm. Image by: BBC News.

Final Skynet satellite launched. [BBC News]


Ed Grabianowski

@Miranda Kali: The whole thing is controlled by the British Asynchronous Satellite Interface and Liaison (BASIL). Anytime British troops are in Germany for training exercises, they get a constant stream of text messages that say, "Don't mention the war!"