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Future Soldiers

Modifications in gear for soldiers of the future will center on computer-enhanced equipment that gives information such as health status, remaining ammunition, damage to equipment, and location.

Future Soldier

Raytheon, a Massachusetts-based defense contractor, has created a futuristic suit reminiscent of Iron Man that may be part of the arsenal of the soldier of tomorrow. The suit doesn't fly or shoot fire, but it does increase the wearer's strength tremendously.

A soldier wearing this suite is 17 times stronger than he would be without the suit. He is also significantly taller and, perhaps most importantly, much more impervious to damage from hand to hand combat or weapons. This suit would allow soldiers to carry supplies and equipment to areas that are impossible to reach with vehicles.

As the warzone of the future will likely be city-based, just like much of the warzone already is in Iraq, having a safe and effective way to transport soldiers and materials in small alleys and spaces will be crucial. The significant amplification in strength will also give the soldier the ability to carry one or more wounded soldiers or civilians out of harm's way.

Computer Thread ...

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing a series of nanotechnology-based equipment for the U.S. army, after being awarded a $50 million dollar contract for the project. With nanotechnology, fabric that appears the same as traditional materials will in fact be impregnated with hundreds or even thousands of microscopic computers.

Nano Fabric

Different types of fabric-computer combinations will serve different functions. For example, nanocomputers could alter fabric in seconds from permeable to bulletproof. Using sensors that are attached to remote controllers on the soldier's gloves, or even within his helmet, the soldier could direct the nanocomputers to turn the armor on and off.

Though normal materials have a limit to how many weapon strikes they can withstand, nanocomputer enhanced fabric has no such limit. This type of body armor has an exponentially longer usable lifespan than armor used in combat today.

Nanocomputers within clothing can also detect biophysical facts about the soldier, such as his body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and even blood glucose. In addition to transmitting that information to a computer on the soldier's body, the nanocomputers could also transmit the data back to the soldier's commanding officer, or even the Pentagon.

Future Soldier Being Remotely Monitored for Vitals

Health data for each soldier in a unit could be transmitted back to the medical officer's computer. The medic will then be able to use that information to prioritize the soldier's care. He could also advise the commanding officer on matters such as how much longer each soldier can continue before beginning to have decreased cognitive and physical functioning.

Some nanocomputers can replicate muscle strength. By coating shirt-sleeves with muscle-enhancing nanocomputers, the fabric can actually give the soldier additional strength. Other types of enhanced fabric can give an almost inhuman resistance to cold and wet, as well as extreme heat.

Since weather-related injuries are of major concern to the military, a premium has been placed on developing these types of technologies.

Future Soldier Equipped to the Hilt
Futuristic helmets with computer-enhanced viewfinders will coordinate the different types of technology the soldier is wearing, as well as collect data that developers will use for further improvements.

And here are some predictions past the 10 year mark. First, cyborg soldiers will come into play as robotics and nanotechnology will be improved and integrated well with the human body. Next, clones will come into play. Moral issues will be addressed by the powers that be that the original soldier and his clone cannot be in battle at the same time. Then robots will be moved into action at great financial expense.

Next will be avatars, similar to what is in movie theatres and on video games. But, this kind of ground game will not last long as drones will take over the battle field including the ground game. Drones the size of the little helicopter children now get at Christmas in the future will be faster, full of sensors such as infrared, ultrasonic, X-ray and they won't only be for spy missions or reconnaissance. They will be equipped with lasers and other deadly weapons.

Drone Home ...

And the size of drones will gone from tiny walking and flying bots and large drones with full military capabilities. Future soldiers will be upon safe ground directing these drones behind enemy lines not endangering any domestic boots on the ground.

Soldiers will then turn their attention to cyber warfare where hacking political, financial, health and other datacenters will be just as effective as any ground game. This kind of soldier in a business suit (but at first, fatigues) will continue for years.

Soldier Computer Hackers

Eventually, the international leaders will see the futility of this kind of warfare and start enforcing unilateral peace agreements, settling disputes with arbitration instead of violence, negotiation instead of working on world class weaponry. The need for soldiers one day will be replaced by the need for world-class diplomats.


Written by Kevin Lepton