Military Tech: 7 Innovations That Will Change The Future Of War

17/07/2014 16:46 | Updated 17 July 2014

With games like 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' showing us the future of military gadgets and technology the truth is that actually, they're far closer to reality than you might think.

Fighter pilots now have helmets like the STRIKER II that go way beyond Google Glass, overlaying state-of-the-art targeting information over the world around you whilst showing live feeds from missiles or drones.

Suits now employ revolutionary woven electronics. The suit doesn't have any wires, instead the fabric itself is able to power removable attachments like cameras, radios and flashlights just by plugging them into hardpoints.

If that wasn't enough drones are now reaching the stage where in a matter of years they could be replacing fighter jets entirely. The Taranis stealth drone is able to become completely invisible to radar despite being remotely controlled.

War is changing. We went to the Farnborough Air Show to find out how.


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Ultimately all these technologies are being put in place to remove the human being from the battlefield - or at the very least, keeping them out of harm's way. With military technology reaching a new level of automation this is becoming the battlefield via remote control.

With that comes a new moral and ethical debate, of course - and there are many people concerned about where that is taking us. But in a purely technological and technical sense, it's hard to deny these are impressive - if by definition brutal and deadly - inventions, taking us towards a very different future of war.

  • 1 Raytheon MALD
    Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) may look like nothing more than a missile but inside its casing is the ability to do something incredible. MALD is a mimic. Able to become anything from an F-35 fighter jet to a lumbering Boeing 747 this humble decoy can fool enemy radar or an air defense system into thinking it's something entirely different. Weighing only 300 pounds and with an effective range of over 500 miles you can even launch a squadron of MALDs and deceive the enemy into thinking they're about to be attacked. Enemy defense systems would then lock onto these targets allowing the real planes to fly through unharmed.
  • 2 Transformer
    This is Transformer, it's a concept design by BAE which predicts that in the future we'll build aircraft that can join and separate from each other. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the 'sticking' mechanism. How do you get two flying objects to safely become one flying object. Well project lead Nick Colosimo has revealed that all the technology needed already exists. BAE has been secretly working on a 'Gecko' material that uses the same principles as a gecko's foot to stick two objects together. Sound like science fiction? Well they've already made some, and in case you're wondering just how strong it really is, a sheet of material the size of a t-shirt could pick up a small car.
  • 3 BAE Broadsword Battle Suit
    What at first glance appears to be just a harness is in fact the future of wearable electronics. Powered by a single universal battery located on the hip the Broadsword has no wires. Instead the harness uses 'woven electronics'. The fabric itself is able to power the attachments using a USB 2.0 configuration. You can attach cameras, radios, flashlights and even smart helmets like the Q-Sight helmet with targeting HUD. Everything is then analysed via a touchscreen battle computer which shows the power of your suit, what attachments you have and can even show live camera feed. Not only does this remove wear and tear but it makes the suit completely untraceable, because there's no wires, there's no leaked signals.
    The Striker II is the world's most advanced Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD). The Striker uses an Oculus Rift-style Heads-Up Display that's bounced off the inside of the visor directly into the back of the eye, the brain then creates an augmented reality image so as far as you're concerned the HUD and real life become one and the same. That image can show everything from targets, to an integrated night vision overlay; effectively giving you the ability to see in the dark.
  • 5 Dassault nEUROn
    nEUROn is a French-led European Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, it's a demonstration aircraft that Dassault hopes will pave the way for the future of drone aircraft. nEUROn is one of a handful of state-of-the-art drones that are capable of advanced combat. Whilst aircraft like the famous Predator drone can attack ground targets, nEUROn would be able to attack both land and air targets effectively making it one of the world's first automated jet fighters.
    This is the helmet of the future. Think of it as Google Glass, but capable of surviving nearby explosions, terrifyingly extreme conditions and being shot at. Giving the wearer a complete tactical HUD in one eye they can see through the eyes of anything that's directly linked to their suit: whether it's a surveillance satellite or a drone they've just launched. The camera on the top is an integrated night vision system, simply tap a button and your left eye can see in the dark. With smart weapon systems allowing you to fire without even looking down the sights the Q-Sight can be wirelessly connected to the gun and aimed just by looking through the HUD.
  • 7 Taranis
    Taranis is BAE's advanced stealth drone. It's their most-advanced aircraft ever and is being created as the foundation for future unmanned jet fighters. Named after the Celtic god of thunder Taranis is a automated or remotely controlled jet fighter capable of becoming 'invisible' to enemy radar. Using a top secret method of communication Taranis can be remotely-controlled without enemy defenses detecting the transmissions. It's capable of attacking both land and air targets making it a fully capable multi-role combat aircraft. Also it looks pretty terrifying.
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