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.
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.
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
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