5 Advancements in Military Weapons Technology
We live in an ever changing world where the sheer rapidity of technological advancement is causing us to become increasingly dependent on smartphones, laptops and other internet-connected devices in order to run our day-to-day lives.
In the military world, innovations in weapons technology are occurring just as frequently and have helped to convert the modern battlefield from a land of attrition to one where conflicts are fought from great distances with fewer casualties.
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The following are 5 examples of impressive advancements in military weapons technology.
Drones have become far more widespread in recent years with prices of consumer models dropping considerably and opening up a new market for filmmakers and hobbyists.
Military drones - formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - are used for a number of applications including espionage, logistics and long distance engagements.
These can be controlled either manually by a pilot at an external location or with varying degrees of autonomy – usually for more simple/routine operations.
Now, progress in drone research has also enabled the design of vehicles the size of insects to be created.
Their incredibly small size will provide unparalleled capabilities for reconnaissance as they are nearly impossible to detect by the human eye and this will also inevitably allow for individual targets to be engaged further down the line.
Dragon Skin Armour
Dragon skin armour is a unique type of protective clothing which is able to withstand multiple, repeat bullet shots without allowing the projectile to pass through and penetrate skin.
The secret of these vests is their inclusion of a series of ceramic plates assembled in a scale-like formation.
These help to disperse a bullet’s velocity across a wide surface area upon impact and, ultimately, prevent it from causing lethal damage to the person underneath.
Testing has highlighted Dragon Skin’s immense capabilities with the vests being shown to withstand the force of high powered ammunition including the widely used 5.56mm round.
California police were even able to demonstrate how these relatively light weight vests could protect the wearer from 30 9mm rounds at a distance of just five feet as well as 200 of the same bullets from a more typical engagement distance.
Lasers have been used widely in the military for purposes such as target acquisition but recent developments in R&D have enabled the creation of more deadly systems.
Introduced in 2014, the XN-1 LaWS cannon is able to fire a highly targeted beam of energy at targets with extreme accuracy and features variable power output functionality.
This enables the XN-1 LaWS to fire shots to dazzle individual enemy soldiers as a deterrent from further engagements, however, increasing the cannon’s power also allows for more powerful shots to be fired.
Recent field testing (which is available for public viewing here) shows how the system can be used to take small attack boats out of operation by causing critical damage to their engines and even destroy airborne drones entirely in a matter of seconds.
In addition to being used as a deterrent, this weapon is also considerably cheaper and quicker to fire than missiles and other alternatives due to the relatively low cost of powering each shot as well and its inherent design properties.
The use of robotics is becoming increasingly common within industries such as manufacturing due to the impressive cost and time saving benefits it provides and, now, this technology is making its way to the frontline.
In addition to the autonomous drones mentioned previously, dog-like robots are also entering the battlefield to provide mobile cover as well as aiding soldiers with logistical problems.
Other examples include the incredibly lightweight ‘Dragon Runner’ urban combat vehicle.
Weighing in at just 20 pounds (9.07 kg), this robotic vehicle is designed to be used in situations which are too dangerous for human soldiers and includes a front-mounted camera with variable positioning.
This provides remote operators with a live video feed which can then be used to identify the location of enemy soldiers as well as other threats and opportunities on the battlefield.
Missiles have been used extensively for many years, with early designs dating back to around 1916.
However, new technology is allowing for the speed at which these travel to be increased significantly and newer models, referred to as ‘hypersonic missiles’ are able to reach speeds of up to Mach 10 (ten times the speed of sound).
Their immense speeds would allow for targets on the other side of the world to be hit within minutes and would render them extremely hard to intercept without highly sophisticated technology in place.
These are just a few of the many innovative technologies introduced into military operations in recent years, with many more sure to come in the near future.