Future armed conflicts, or the technology needed to act as a deterrent and fight them, are always changing, and that requires the newest technology. Here are some of the newer technologies our armed forces will need in the coming years to continue to stay on top.
- Helicopters that can operate more quietly, and that are faster
Faster choppers that fly more quietly have long been a must-have item on many military commander’s wish list. One only need look back to the recent downing in Afghanistan of a MH-47 Chinook helicopter that took the life of 30 US troops.
The mission that killed Osama bin Laden was also very nearly compromised by the noise made by the helicopters used on the mission, with some people in the area even making note on social media about the helicopters in the area.
- No-kill weapons
Some of the recent wars fought by Americans have been conflicts where it is almost impossible to tell the difference between friend and foe. No-kill weapons would give troops the ability to better distinguish between the two without some of the legal and moral problems that come with shoot first and ask questions later tactics.
Weapons that can stop vehicles at long distances without being lethal are also a big need, as seen in the last few conflicts where enemies used car bombs. But many civilians also lost their lives simply because of the language barrier.
Potential weapons in development that could fulfil this need are laser weapons designed to disorient, and direct energy weapons that cause crowds to flee without causing permanent damage.
- Technology That Can Lighten the Load Soldiers Carry
When you add up the weight of the weapons, communication devices, ammunition, and more, the load of soldiers can add up to well over 100 pounds. This makes for a solider who will tire more quickly, cover less ground, and be a more accessible target for the enemy.
The military is counting on technology and a bit of logistics help to lighten the load on soldiers. The Army of the United States is currently doing tests involving GPS-guided smart parachutes to drop gear and items such as food and water on the front lines. The logic being the soldier will have to carry less of those items if they know those items will be at a certain point when they arrive.
Also in the development stage is a robotic pack mule. This pack mule will have the ability to haul up to 400 pounds, and it can either be used to follow a ground unit, or it may be programmed to meet the troops at specific locations.
If the load on solders can be lightened, and they can be equipped with no-kill weapons, it is less likely some of the problems encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan will be repeated, with loss of civilian life resulting in the people the armed forces are there to help turning against the troops.