Technology and innovation are changing our world, and many of the technologies we now use as part of our day-to-day life (cue Global Positioning Systems) were once military programs. These innovations and changes in technology have continued as the technological revolution continues.
Examples of Military Technology Developments
Technology is dramatically changing how we fight wars and how we help soldiers as they come home from war. Some examples of the innovations are new aircrafts, better technology in space via satellites, unmanned submarine hunters, innovative missiles, plasma protection fields, and more. These are just a few of the new technologies being used to change the landscape of war. In many ways, it’s only the beginning.
1. Unmanned Technology
Unmanned aerial vehicles have started to make an impact on how the U.S. fights its wars with the opportunity to have aerial reconnaissance available at a moments notice. Currently, the U.S. Air Force is working to develop its own program featuring unmanned aircraft that can also think autonomously. These aircraft would be sent out alongside manned aircraft to scout enemy territory or gather intel.
Robots allow humans to continue to do the job while monitoring areas that do not require direct action most of the time. Tyndall AFB recently received its first set of semi-autonomous “robot dogs.” In the release, Mark Shackley, Tyndall Program Management Office security forces manager, said, “They can patrol the remote areas of a base while defenders can continue to patrol and monitor other critical areas of an installation.”
2. Solar Energy Technology
As the world works to transition away from fossil fuels, the military is working to find ways to be more environmentally friendly. Besides making changes with renewable energy projects at home station that don’t rely on oil and instead renewables, the military is trying to use this technology in different aspects of the military.
There are more than 130 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy systems powering the military across 31 states plus the District of Columbia. But this is just the beginning, as there are more contracts to expand the reach of the military’s solar system with an end goal of three Gigawatts of renewable energy installations by 2025.
The military has also used portable solar arrays to power “fixed-site” locations. These locations are often remote and depend on off-grid power. These arrays decrease the demand for fuel for traditional generators and make the needed and sometimes dangerous supply run happen less often. Hopes are that this technology can continue to increase eliminating the need for fossil fuels.
3. 3D Printing
Early in 2019, a team of logistics Marines had a printed functional concrete footbridge created using the technology of 3D printing. This meant they created it without having to mix gravel or other required materials at the site. And while this technology is still in the test phase the military has high hopes that soon this technology will be able to be deployed to the field.
But this is just one of many examples of how 3D printing is changing the way the military uses this new technology. It has also found its way into helping military members coming home from war with injuries specifically missing limbs. And there is the potential to bring this technology out into the field.
Protecting the Warfighter Continues to Evolve
But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the various technologies and changes coming the military and likely in turn civilians. Both in the unclassified and classified levels there are many projects working to protect the U.S. and its allies and also helping to protect the warfighter. New innovations will keep on bringing new capabilities each year.