Few things are as intriguing as new military technology. Because of how top secret their construction is and how life-changing they can be we’re naturally inclined to be interested in learning about them.
Especially in the past decade, the weapons we make are becoming scarily effective. We all hope that we never need to use this technology, but not producing them will leave us unguarded from potential terrorists or other enemies.
That’s why even peaceful governments spend huge sums of money every year on advancing their military arsenal.
The stuff they create sometimes also results in technologies we use in our everyday lives.
The internet is a perfect example of a military technology turning domestic.
So that we have a better understanding of what to expect in our future, let’s take a look at the 10 most important military technologies that have been developed in the past decade and a half.
Robots are becoming more and more common on the battlefield. This is because they can perform certain duties without putting human lives at risk.
One of the most recent developments in the field of battlefield robots is the Flybot — a tiny piece of hardware which can fit on your fingertip that can fly around a battlefield collecting intel.
Imagine a group of soldiers could release a swarm of little Flybots to scout the battlefield and locate their enemies or find hidden explosives.
This would certainly make those soldiers’ jobs a lot safer.
2 Getting in tight spaces
One struggle the military has always had is being able to see inside a room without having to open the door.
Many lives can be saved if a military squadron knew what was on the other side of every wall. That’s why there has been a great deal of development on robots which can get under the crack of a door or through a small hole.
The Meshworm is a recently created robot which uses the same physics as an earthworm to move around.
Being made of soft fibres allows it to move freely without the need to rely on certain joint functions as most robots do.
By being able to get into tight spaces without being noticed, Meshworms have the potential to save thousands of lives.
3 Flying robots
Whether on reconnaissance or delivering deadly missile payloads, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones have become a standard part of every highly advanced military.
While the technology has been in development for many years, we’ve only seen them in use for perhaps the past 10.
That’s because getting this type of technology right is important before using it. Just because there’s no one flying it doesn’t mean things can’t go terribly wrong.
But perhaps the most interesting part about drones is how they’ve adopted several civilian uses as well.
You never know, in the next 10 years a drone could be delivering your pizza!
4 A titan of a tank
Tanks make up the main body of almost any military’s ground forces. This means they’re crucial to winning any land-based battle.
But because weapons are being upgraded so frequently, tanks need to be upgraded just as frequently.
The Ajax is a new battle tank being produced for the British military. What makes it such a game changer is its heavy modular plates.
These are easily replaceable when damaged, making this tank simple to sustain on the battlefield.
Keeping your tanks in the battle longer and repairing them faster means that an army can get far more bang for its buck.
And in the unfortunate event of a war, getting the most bang for one’s buck is likely the only way to survive.
5 Greased Lightning
On today’s battlefield the most important part to rule over is the skies. That’s why the development of the F-35 Lightning II is such a critical game changer.
This sleek jet can travel at alarmingly high speeds and is equipped with the latest in stealth and detection technology.
By being difficult to detect but being able to detect its own enemies easily, the F-35 has the ability to control the sky.
Although the project to build them is extremely costly, their maintenance is rather inexpensive. So if there is a war, governments won’t need to keep dumping billions to keep these things operational.
Because of their short takeoff capabilities, amassing a large fleet of them can be done quickly as well.
Overall this jet will probably dominate aerial warfare for the next fifty years.
6 Jamming guns
Although Bob Marley’s jamming is the preferred use of the term, jamming signals during combat is very important.
Disrupting communications of your opponent can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Now the effectiveness of signal jamming becomes ever more prevalent when dealing with UAVs. Because no one’s flying them they require a signal just to stay airborne.
The Skynet anti-drone rifle is a lightweight weapon which can literally take drones right out of the sky — by blocking GPS signals.
The value of this comes in the fact that an infantryman can carry one instead of having to set up a defensive jamming structure.
A jamming array can easily be hit by other ordinance but an individual soldier is a lot harder to locate on the battlefield. Especially by a drone.
7 Heat rays
Using heat to deter people from entering a particular area isn’t a new concept. Archimedes first thought of the idea over a thousand years ago.
But using microwave radiation to do it is something that’s only become possible in the past 10 years.
Active Denial Systems work by using microwaves to heat the skin of any people within its range, creating an extreme amount of pain.
This weapon can’t really kill anyone and is more used as a deterrent in order to hold strategic points.
Station an Active Denial System near an important bunker and any soldiers who get within range will go running for the hills.
8 A last defense
When bad turns to worse, the last thing you want is for your ship to get hit by a missile. Actually, let’s be honest here, the last thing you want is for anything to get hit by a missile.
Because of the massive devastation missiles can cause it’s obvious why militaries have developed countermeasures against them. The Phalanx CIWS is one such countermeasure.
While most of the time missiles will be shot out of the sky by other missiles, if that fails a Phalanx is a heavy gun turret capable of shooting down a missile in close range before it can hit its target.
Primarily used on warships, the Phalanx is a necessary part of keeping military boats afloat.
9 Hitting where it hurts
Every military heavily relies on communication and reconnaissance in order to stay alive in a battle.
In today’s day and age reconnaissance often comes from the many satellites which orbit our planet.
So it’s pretty obvious that destroying them would give an attacker an advantage. But it’s also incredibly dangerous.
So many things operate off satellites today that having one knocked out of the sky could be catastrophic for the entire planet.
However, several militaries across the world have developed these technologies and continue to hone them in the extreme case that they ever need to completely cripple their enemy’s communication.
10 Laser beams
Yup, you read right, laser beams. The US military and their contractors have actually been experimenting with using lasers as weapons.
Although always thought to be impractical before, the technology has advanced to the point where we may see laser weapons in the next few decades. Many are already undergoing testing, with engineers now just working out the kinks.
Of course the most advanced military in the world would be the first ones to use lasers, but did you ever think you’d see it in your lifetime?
War and peace
Preparing for war is something that all nations have done for many centuries.
Appearing weak gives other neighbouring or rival countries the temptation of attacking, so having a well armed and capable military is vital to keeping any country safe.
While we all hope that these intriguing new technologies never have to get used, it’s always nice when they turn into civilian technologies.
So here’s hoping that this new generation of military technology doesn’t find its place on the battlefield, but finds a place in improving our daily lives instead.
After all, that’s what technology’s supposed to be for, right?