An important debate is being waged in this country about just what should be done with America’s armed forces. Parts of the army remains cutting edge. America has more military hardware than almost any other country on Earth, and the strategic knowledge to direct those forces in combat.
Unfortunately, not all of the branches of military have managed to keep up. Advances in arming ground troops, for instance, can lead to more lives saved and more missions that are executed without issue. We have a long way to go before America has the future army promised in endless volumes of science fiction lore, but there are some improvements coming to the American military.
One problem the current administration faces is what to do with its nuclear ballistic system. We face problems with weapons past their prime usage date, and computer systems that were never fully upgraded to match the technology of the times. There is some merit to simple is better, but it’s also clear that the army has some catching up to do.
One of the biggest changes coming is the GPS system on the ordinance itself. Today’s standard bombs are guided by GPS systems for added precision. Tomorrow’s nuclear arsenal will employ some of that same technology.
Much of the new technology coming to the battlefield must be rugged in addition to powerful. The army of the future will require long term support, and the reliability that comes with a product capable of surviving extreme conditions. Soon, the Army will incorporate more touch screen technology to help track troop and supply movements around the world.
Radar is ubiquitous these days on a military front. There are dedicated military teams stationed around the globe with a variety of tasks on their plate. Some are assisting relocation and rescue efforts, others are helping clean up after disasters. Then there are those on the ground fighting for US interests. Radar will help troops locate survivors faster and move into heavily guarded areas with fewer incidents of violence.
The soldier of the future will have more visibility on his side. He may use a heads up display that gives him readouts of the world around him in real-time. Some technology is even focused on sensing biometrics, so soldiers can effectively see what’s around them regardless of what might be obstructing their view.
The battlefield of the future may not even have soldiers on the ground at all. It’s unlikely that all fighting will be done by robots, but there are several battlefield bots already in use. We currently rely on robots to disarm bombs, for instance, but robots that can navigate difficult terrain can help troops ferry materials from one place to the next. The Soviet army had a remote control tank during the 1940s, but the widespread adoption of unmanned vehicles has largely remained the exception, not the norm.
That is unless you count the usage of UAV drones.
Drones are fast becoming more than a buzz word for news headlines, they are in use in many branches of law enforcement. Drones are most commonly used to capture surveillance of an area. Their biggest advantage is that they remain safely in the air, and they do not put actual human lives at risk if used properly. Drones can relay their information wirelessly, and will transmit footage as it is capture.
Drones are piloted off-site, at least in the sense that the pilot is not intimately involved in the battle. A drone operator may be sitting safely on base while the UAV itself faces the danger. There are definite concerns over privacy and accidents, but this military technology is beginning to find itself at the center of civilian life.
Military technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and America’s army is slowly catching up. Congress has made it a priority to update the army that keeps Americans safe, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we have the army of the future.