The advancements in warfare and weaponry over the past 100 years have been astronomical – I’m not sure if that’s necessarily good thing. From the invention of the machine gun and the tank in World War One, to the modern air force and of course nuclear weapons in World War Two, military advancements have continued to develop at a rapid pace.
As global tensions remain high, nations are taking extreme measures to maintain their military supremacy by developing new technologies; please note that these ten technologies have all been tested, or are at least in medium to advanced stages of development. They seem futuristic, but are closer to a finished product that you’ve ever imagined.
10. XM25 Grenade Launcher
The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System is a semiautomatic grenade launcher utilized by the American Military that has the distinction of being nicknamed the Punisher. The Punisher also fires grenades that are programmed to explode either mid launch on their way to the target, or within the proximity of the target; it was tested in Afghanistan and might be employed by the military late this year.
9. Kill Weapon
The Chinese navy have been developing a massive weapon capable of destroying U.S. naval vessels not only in a stealth manner, but from long ranges as well. Furthermore, the missiles are capable of carrying a large enough warhead that they would inflict exceptional damage to an American war craft, and are also speculated to be highly undetectable to radar due to the missiles’ high maneuverability.
8. The Railgun
The Railgun is an electrically charged and powered massive projectile launcher, which – in theory – aids in launching aircraft into space. As a weapon, the Railgun has been built and tested to fire non-explosive ordinance at extremely high speeds, faster than the speed of sound in fact, in order to be used as anti-aircraft and anti-missile weaponry. This weapon might fully equip ships by 2025.
7. DREAD Silent Weapon System
DREAD is a massive machine gun that uses rotating discs to fire rounds as opposed to gunpowder. The DREAD Silent Weapon System is a centrifugal weapon that was first patented in 2003. The gun can fire up to 120,000 rounds per minute, with the speed of a handgun, and produces no sound, no heat and no recoil. Its date of becoming operational is unknown.
6. Aurora Excalibur
The Excalibur was developed by Aurora Flight Sciences. It is an unmanned aerial fighter craft, capable of both a vertical takeoff and a vertical landing. With the ability to reach speeds of nearly 500 miles per hour, the Excalibur can also carry numerous weapons, with plans for the full-scale model to come equipped with up to four Hellfire missiles. The Excalibur is expected to be fully deployed in the next five to ten years.
5. High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System
The High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, known as HELLADS, is a weapon being developed to counter rockets, artillery and mortars. The difference between HELLADS and traditional weapons is that it utilizes lasers to shoot down threats, and is also compact enough to be deployed on a traditional fighter craft. The HELLADS system is anticipated to be fully operational within the next five years.
4. Quantum Stealth Camouflage
Inspired by a science fiction film, the stealth camouflage system will essentially render an infantryman invisible. Apparently being developed in Canada, the technology has the full support of the United States and Canadian militaries both of which are very interested in the possibilities of such technology when it becomes deployable.
3. Electron Laser
The Free Electron Laser is another of the U.S. Navy’s forays into harnessing laser technology to be a primary weapon to shoot down missiles, rockets and enemy aircraft. Beyond the abilities of the laser system, this will be capable of sensing, tracking and targeting the enemy as well as sharing information with command. An operational prototype is expected to be available by 2018.
2. Hybrid Insects
The brainchild of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is a division of the United States Department of Defense, the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems program is something truly astounding. The aim is to create almost cyborg-like insects, by implanting the bugs with mechanical devices during the early stages of the insects’ metamorphosis.
1. Synthetic Organisms
An extremely ambitious project, headed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), it is difficult to fully comprehend the purpose and ramifications of the BioDesign Synthetic Organisms project. In essence, the project aims to completely override evolution and create an engineered organism that can defy death, but transversely can also be destroyed with a kill switch.