Mock military drones reading "no killer drones" are displayed during an Easter march in Bremen, northern Germany, on March 26, 2016.
AFP / dpa / Ingo Wagner
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Robotic systems and unmanned vehicles are playing an ever-growing role in the U.S. military – but don't expect to see Terminator-style droids striding across the battlefield just yet. A top Pentagon official Wednesday gave a tantalizing peek into several projects that not long ago were the stuff of science fiction, including missile-dodging satellites, self-flying F-16 fighters and robot naval fleets.Though the Pentagon is not planning to build devices that can kill without human input, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work hinted that could change if enemies with fewer qualms create such machines.Work, who helps lead Pentagon efforts to ensure the U.S. military keeps its technological edge, described several initiatives, including one dubbed "Loyal Wingman" that would see the Air Force convert an F-16 warplane into a semi-autonomous and unmanned fighter that flies alongside a manned F-35 jet.
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