The United States is said to be using the ninja bomb, Hellfire R9X, which is an air-to-ground missile that cuts targets with six blades like a kitchen knife instead of explosives while fighting terrorism.
The Hellfire R9X is a small-sized surface-to-air missile that has been used since the 1980s, a Hellfire warhead, instead of explosives, and a lump of metal or six blades deployed just before the impact. For this reason, this weapon is also called a flying knife.
The US military and the CIA have continued operations in Pakistan and Syria to use drones to launch missiles and kill hostile officers and commanders. The Hellfire R9X was developed for the purpose of assassination by a factor more precise than a normal warhead at this time and to reduce the incidental damage to civilians.
In the 1990s, the U.S. introduced remote-controlled drones and UAVs such as the RQ-1 and MQ-1 predator into the field, and began operating not only reconnaissance but also armed types in the early 2000s. Precision attacks using drones are easier than manned attacks, and above all, they can be operated without risk of human life on the US side, and have been widely used in the war against terrorism and have achieved great results. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that there are many incidental damages to civilians due to misdestruction or excessive force.
For example, according to statistics from British civilian think tanks, the number of drone air strikes by the U.S. military since 2004 has been less than 6,800, with deaths ranging from 8,459 to 12,105, and civilian deaths from 769 to 1,725. There are 253-397 children under the age of 17.
Former President Obama demanded the military to reduce civilian damage, such as mandating annual disclosure of the number of civilian victims caused by drone attacks under a presidential decree. The CIA introduced guided missile weapons that were smaller and less powerful than Hellfire. The Hellfire R9X was also developed according to this policy.
Usually Hellfire missiles are about 1,600mm long. However, as mentioned earlier, the Hellfire R9X for precision assassination does not carry ordinary explosives on the warhead, but has a metal warhead that functions as a kinetic energy weapon and a blade just before impact.
If a normal warhead is used, the frame such as a car is blown away, leaving burned debris. However, when an al-Qaeda executive died in a U.S. drone attack in 2017, a large hole was formed and the windshield was cracked, as if it was stuck in the steel roof of the vehicle left behind, but the entire body was maintained and there was no trace of burns.
Neither the US military nor the CIA, nor Hellfire maker Lockheed Martin, have mentioned the existence or nature of the Hellfire R9X. A precision attack that minimizes collateral damage (if you are willing to use forceful means) may not create an expansion situation that could lead to war. In addition to the risk of a backlash from public opinion due to civilian damage, etc., it may also help to weaken the sentiment toward the United States that will incidentally remain even if the target is removed.
The Hellfire R9X can be an advantage in this regard. However, if the visual of a missile with a blade instead of a bomb is revealed, paradoxically, it can lead to fear and resentment. In any case, drones that operate remotely are no different from hunting using advanced technology. What’s more, US President Trump is withdrawing its obligation to disclose the number of civilians damage caused by drone attacks. Related information can be found here .