The future of warfare is going to be vastly different from what it is today. There is a technological revolution taking place and it is not just about night vision equipment, uniform fabrics or computerized weapons. It is neither going to be about weapons of mass destruction like thermonuclear bombs.
We are already seeing the changing scenario daily. Drones are expected to steal the limelight of modern military equipment, and US military is expected to use them in a big way. They are also expected to be used extensively in fighting the war against terrorism as well as in conventional wars. In fact, drones will form the frontline attack machines not only for the US military but also for the rest of the fighting forces world over.
As usual the US is expected to pioneer the development of newer military equipment with the help of defense contractors and private military equipment manufacturing companies within and outside the US. “The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency” (DARPA) in the US is the principal body that oversees development of military hardware.
Here is some of the amazing equipment that you can expect to see in the years ahead, and most of them are designed to save human life during conflicts:
- One of the much discussed equipment is a mule like robot that will support ground forces in battles. It is being developed by Boston Dynamics in close association with DARPA. The mule like robot, it is believed, will be amazingly agile and versatile and is designed to carry substantial load of ammunition and supplies for the frontline fighters. The four-legged robot has been designed for use in rough terrain. The mule operates silently and is intended to follow foot soldiers independently. The futuristic models are expected to obey voice and visual commands.
- Seoul National University, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in close tandem with DARPA are working on a mesh worm like robot that can stealthily sneak into places and report on temperature and other conditions. It is expected to use artificial muscle and propel like real worms inch by inch. This will particularly help the military collect data in enemy territories. The planned worm is almost indestructible. Futuristic versions it is believed will be even capable of making video recordings and obey voice commands.
- It is believed that Sierra Nevada Corporation is working on a microwave ray gun along with US Navy. When deployed in the field it can fire shots of sound waves directly into the enemies brain rather than through the ear. This will make ear plugs and other anti-sound protection equipment obsolete. Work is also progressing on bulk emission microwave ray guns and smaller models for marines. The other uses for the guns are crowd control. Microwave ray guns are believed to have been tried in war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Training military personnel in the use of small firearm will be vastly different in the future. Marathon Targets of Sydney of Australia is working on a robot that can help in sharpshooting and aiming guns. It is capable of moving in unpredictable ways giving the soldiers extensive experience during training. The US marines are already testing the efficacy of the equipment. The robot is designed to look like enemies with clothes and dressing resembling soldiers. It is expected to replace the century-old wooden targets that are currently used by the military around the world.
- Though most countries around the world agree not to militarize space, military equipment makers, it is believed are working on space-based laser weapons capable of sending powerful laser emissions that can be pointed on ballistic missile launch pads to destroy them. The other application of space-based weapons laser emitter is to protect satellites from possible enemy attacks. Sandia National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a number of defense contractors are working on the project.
- PAL Robotics in Spain is working on a robot that can walk into buildings avoiding obstacles and pick objects in their hands. The robots will be capable of recognizing people from inanimate objects as well. They will be capable of recognizing human voice it is believed, and will take verbal commands. The robot will be particularly helpful in treating wounded soldiers in battle fields. The robot will also have civilian applications. They can also be used for serving food, and will be of particular use in exhibitions and parties.
- Boston Dynamics has developed a robot that is capable of mimicking human movement. The robot is unique in the sense that it can climb stairs, a feature that is not available in most robots whether civilian or military. The robot can particularly be of help by substituting for soldiers in hazardous environments. The latest model of the robot will come into use around 2015 according to the manufacturers.
- Another interesting development is the Flybot being developed by Harvard University with support from DARPA. As the name suggests, the equipment is a fly-like robot that will hardly be any heavier than a pin. The robot is capable of being remotely controlled. Due to its size it may not be capable of picking objects, but it will particularly help gather data in hazardous environment where soldiers may not be able to enter. It will also have extensive application in the chemical industry involving poisonous gases. The Military can use the robot for gathering enemy line information.
- Of all, the Super Drone is expected to make the greatest impact in future wars. Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman together are developing a drone that is believed will be unmanned and fly at altitudes upward of 100,000 feet over the earth’s surface at a speed of up to 4,000 miles per hour. Though not much factual details are available at the moment, once deployed in 2020 as planned, it will change war scenarios like never before.
The article is written by Kathryn Smith, a tech and entertainment blogger. Kathryn also contributes for distance learning blog and shares her findings related to internet marketing, blogging, and other technical stuff.