This is a look into weapons which will be used by major individual national powers, regional powers like NATO, & the New World Order (to insure control over globe). This post will limit itself to revolutionary weapons that match what were viewed as weapons in the 20th century. However, previous concepts of what a war looks like, what is viewed as a weapon, & how conflicts are fought need to be seen as antiquated paradigms. To dominate a society or group, the Power can employ such weapons as: deception, mind-control, biological weapons, weather modification, economic manipulations, cyber attacks, ECMs, “non-lethal weapons”, or limited strikes such as a coup which would look like an internal change of govt. The full range of new weapons falls outside of the old paradigms of what is a weapon. This article will limit the scope of its discussion to the traditional range of “weapons”. Many “force multipliers” have been developed or theorized. For instance, accurate, detailed, on time info is a force multiplier. The fog of war & inaccurate weapons can be eliminated by smart sensors & multiply the power of one’s weapons.
In 2001, Congress required the military to upgrade so that 1/3 of all combat aircraft were unmanned (by 2010) & 1/3 of ground vehicles were unmanned (by 2015). $30 billion was put into the Future Combat Systems to develop a robot army. The Global Hawk UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) has proven to be effective in gathering war intelligence. You will note that unmanned predator drones have been used to take out targets. (In 2003, a U.S. Predator & an Iraqi Mig-25 dueled… the Mig won.)
SUPER SOLDIERS. While incredible sums of money & energy have gone into automated & remote controlled smart machines, autonomous weapons (AW) & robots…the truth remains that improving on humans has far more immediate potential. The human brain can outperform the best computers in some functions. So the military esp. the Army (& Navy for Seal type warriors) has gone through several generations of programs, some secret, to improve on the human. The Land Warrior system was officially stopped by the US Army, & the Future Force Warrior program replaced it.
The Hollywood movie Iron Man, which shows a futuristic exoskeleton superman, is one of the goals of current research. While it remains low key, the US military has already developed genetically altered humanoids; fast, strong giants, self-healing skin, & soldiers subjected to mind-control are already in existence. In addition to this, they are creating cyborg warriors, a soldier w/ a robotic exoskeleton to provide the person inside with superhuman strength. This is the Marine Exoskeletal Augmentation Program (MEPAC) which can be armed with the Metal Storm weapon, which is the perfect weapon for cyborgs & robots…firing 1 million rounds per min. The Metal Storm weapon does not use magazines, but the projectiles are stacked inside its barrel & fired by a computer chip. The overall result is that fierce powerful super soldiers (w/ or without special suits) will be used. As the expense & effort to create these Super Soldiers will be large…they will be special weapons for special missions, normal humans will still be employed. I have written before about the genetically created aquamen that the Navy has. While the US military has created powerful expensive Super soldiers, they hope that their thousands of robots will be more cost effective. I expect eventually soldier models to be mass produced in factories, & military robots to improve in usefulness…both developing & being deployed side by side.
ROBOTIC REVOLUTION OF WARFARE. Currently robots (machines that interact w/ their environment) fulfill very limited narrow functions. They do not mimic human intelligence like the movies portray. Remote controlled is not the same as robotic. (The Germans & Jap. used remote controlled weapons in WW 2. And advanced thinkers back then dreamed of killer robots.) Partly robotic systems can improve current weapons…for instance, the new destroyer Zumwalt has its engine room run by robots, and uses only a crew of 142 for a warship that previously needed more than 300. Underwater robots also serve purposes. Autonomous weapons (AW) are not realistic today, but weapons research is going that direction. Killer robots which select targets to kill are not yet feasible, but being developed. In fact, DARPA spent 1 billion dollars between ’83 & ’93 trying to create an intelligent killer robot. Swarms of killer robots in the future will need AI to select targets, but current AI is not smart enough to prevent mistakes. Six-inch micro aircraft have been built. Very tiny mini-robots have been built. Israel has developed what look like wasps to assassinate people. Micro devices carried in large numbers with sensors can make a given area lethal. (By the way, the definitive periodical that reports on unmanned combat vehicles is Shephards’ Unmanned Vehicles Handbook which a few years ago reported 62 kinds in production. Copies of the journal can be hard to locate.) NASA’s unmanned vehicles of space exploration & their instrumentation are contributing enormously to learning how to create killer robots. Unmanned military systems in space & in the air will play key roles in the future, incl. hypersonic moving craft.
OTHER PROBLEMS. Frequencies & transmission rates for wireless data are limited. Bandwidth capacities used by military satellites are limited. Bandwidth bottlenecks put limits on how many unmanned systems can operate in an area. Jamming systems are also not difficult to develop. An unmanned system needs GPS to operate, a relatively easy thing to jam. Encrypted commands to robots are not unbreakable by computers. A robot that the British were using in Northern Ireland to disable a IRA bomb, was hijacked by the IRA who took control of the robot & sent it back towards the British to blow the original operator up. (War Without Men… by Wise & Shaker, p. 169) For dictators & tyrannical govt.s future programmed robots may be more “loyal” & dependable than human troops who might rebel. Human operators of robots make mistakes & wear out before the machines…but machine operators of robots are crude & not sophisticated enough yet. Mistakes with hi-tech weapons operated by humans have been taking place. Eventually, given time, truly autonomous robots operating on their own will be developed…but they are not here yet…and until they are, transmission problems, jamming problems, and human operator problems will plague unmanned systems.
DIRECTED ENERGY & LASERS. DEWs and Laser weapons already exist. While they are incredibly fast (the speed of light) & move straight to the target, they have limitations on what they can accomplish. One area where these weapons will be worthwhile will be in space, where something as simple as a tree will not get in the way.
PROFOUND CHANGES are coming that will impact our lives. Some of us may end up seeing some of the new novel weapons (like biological weapons BW) used on us. Some vulnerabilities are quite basic: our water supplies are open to attack. In addition to non-traditional types of weapons, we are witnessing the creation of futuristic Super Soldiers & robots & Unmanned Weapon systems. It’s sad but true, that in a world with so many problems to life, so much money & energy is spent developing new ways to kill.