The commercial aspect of warfare and manufacturing has been a driving force in the state’s economy. The desire to make war more efficient and less expensive has helped fund scientists to make innovative discoveries. These five technologies in particular stand to make a great impact on warfare in particular how many men will be at the front line. Although the way of fighting may alter swiftly, the need for efficient weaponry and improved safety for soldiers will not. These listed weapons are all in a relatively early stage of growth.

Drones and unmanned vehicles

The rise of drones has even begun to creep into daily life, with games introducing the tool and drones being available in local tech and gadget stores. In their rising popularity the technology has now began to improve and become more diversely used. The Knifefish, a drone that can be used underwater, seeks out mines by using side-scan sonar. The drone is able to last for up to 16 hours using a battery alone. This invention is not too far away, with a deployment date scheduled in 2017.

There has also been a focus on developing unmanned trackers such as sub hunters. Radar, Lidar and other sensors ensure successful tracking of submarines for missions that can last up to 80 days.

Soldier uniforms

The simplest improvement in a soldier’s helmet can change their lives and hope for survival under attack. Kevlar and Twaron combat helmets, made of ballistic fibers, are able to endure a direct shot from a 9-mm pistol round and even some bomb fragments. This is the first of its kind and began being issued last year. It has also been designed so there is no altering in the weight, and coming in at 3 pounds it is, amazingly, no heavier than previous helmets. These helmets are now being issued by the Army and Marine Corps, and will most certainly be crucial in reducing death in combat. Batterie vests are also being made more lightweight so soldiers can have a manageable weigh to move with. Arotech developed ‘Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System’ the power source weighs 30% less than normal and allows for longer missions. A more comfortable and well prepared soldier enables smarter decisions to be made in moments of high pressure. This of course depends on the Soldier’s food and good diet.

Stealth

Crucial in a successful mission is stealth, this may be the most futuristic technology in the list. The ‘adaptive camouflage’ relies upon the use of materials that could be lightwave-bending, this would minimise the thermal and visible characteristics of a target. If material is successfully distributed this would make the movement of forces in enemy territory far easier. It would also prevent being attacked by drone fighters greatly. There are reports of a Canadian firm demonstrating the material to two command groups. In contrast to the importance of remaining hidden, there is also the growth of ‘wide area’ surveillance. Aerial vehicles can silently track an enemy’s movements and function effectively enough to keep the soldier watching the video footage at a distance.

The higher the flight of the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) the better the angle and view it can take in. There is now a push to enable stratospheric UAVs so that wider images can be taken in and the satellite can hover over an image, they are also able to pass into an enemies territory without breaking international rules. The area of space warfare is yet to be fully chartered with rules etc so there is an arms race to be prepared to break into that realm when allowed, in order to be prepared for the future of hunting. There is not a great deal information available on this design as it cannot legally be confirmed if such a technology has been put to use due to its controversy.

Faster & Quieter helicopters

The funding and purchasing of faster helicopters would enable more successful rescue missions as well as attacks. However the latest high speed helicopters, such as the V-22 Osprey, do come with risks as a high number have crashed during take-off and landing. The cause of crashes has been identified in the tilt-rotor, but it’s design does enable faster speed and better performance. In improving helicopters’ safety there is a need for products that can protect against dust and subsequent vision restriction. AugustaWestland will be researching how to implement a blade which makes use of an extreme twist and paddle on the end of it that will aid in lessening brown-outs.

Rail Gun

The introduction of rail gun launchers will be an excellent replacement to traditional gun propellants. The rail gun launchers use a magnetic field to thrust a projectile at long range and with velocities of 4,500 mph and 5,600 mph solely through the use of kinetic energy. It’s genesis came about in 2005 and has been developed since by the U.S Office of Naval Research. The U.S Army has also been working on it’s own version and rumor has it that China is as well. The U.S Navy’s goal for the railgun is that it can be a suitable size for a ship. The initial prototypes were designed to help the marines, with a 32-mega joule shot of electricity it will launch a 23 pound shell which can reach targets at a distance of 110 miles.

The weaponry of war constantly adapts and depends on the future of wars. Yet these five recent adaptations are all related to the core characteristics of warfare which is becoming increasingly dependent on technological innovations. In a matter of decades the rise of artificial dependence will alter what is currently relied on totally.