5 Military Technology Trends to Watch Out for

In the past century, the adoption of the latest military technology trends has had a big impact on warfare. Moreover, the evolution of disruptive technologies and socioeconomic environment has changed the operational landscape.

Today’s strategists contend with an urbanized, populated, interconnected, and digitized world. That calls for even more advanced military technologies.

In this article, we’ll be looking at five military technology trends to look out for. Let’s get right into it.

1.   Advanced Defense Equipment

To solve threats, militaries are developing more advanced defense equipment. They want to capitalize on these military technology trends with net-zero emissions. These innovations include hypersonic systems, space militarization, and energy weapons.

If you don’t know, hypersonic refers to objects traveling more than 5X the speed of sound. Hermeus, an American-based start-up, wants to make Mach 5 flight possible. Their prototype, Quarterhorse, is an autonomous and reusable hypersonic plane. Moreover, the technology isn’t limited to planes, as Russia proved this with its hypersonic missiles.

There’s also a focus on battlefield control using electrical techniques, like electric propulsion (EP). EP is a category of space propulsion systems that use electricity to accelerate an object.

Hydrogen-fuel-powered aircraft are paving the way for this transition. Not to mention the billions of dollars pouring into biotechnology and nanotechnology research. The goal? To develop self-healing armors for troops, among other revolutionary equipment. Mil-spec suppliers are leading the charge with their nanomaterials.

2.   Robotics and Autonomous Systems

The Pentagon spent more than $7 billion on robotics and other unmanned vehicles in 2021. This was done to enhance military capabilities and to:

  • Protect troops on the front lines
  • Enhance situational awareness on the battlefield
  • Cut mental and physical workload of troops
  • Help secure locations and control the terrain
  • Facilitate movement.

Spear, an Israeli-based start-up, is on a mission to revolutionize combat aerial vehicles, aka drones. To boost tactical advantage, they developed an efficient drone system. The system uses a combination of mesh algorithms, swarm computing, and computer vision. A good example is their Ninox40 drone built for special and ground forces. It’s instantly deployable via a typical grenade launcher. Its design helps minimize risks and increase troop survivability.

Another example is the robotic patrol “dog” featured above. They’re currently working alongside Air Force troops at Tyndall Air Force Base. These robotic “dogs” are adaptable regardless of the terrain. They are water-resistant for up to five feet, can climb stairs, and get up if they fall over. Robotic “dogs” are used to increase situational awareness and offer the Tyndall Air Force base an extra layer of protection.

3.   Internet of Military Things (IoMT)

Aside from smart homes, the Internet of Things (IoT) has also found wide military applications. IoMT interconnects objects such as bases, soldiers, drones, tanks, planes, ships, etc. IoMT improves situational awareness, perception radius, and response times.

For instance, advanced technologies, like AI and 5G, IoMT offer a seamless flow of information across all military arms. IoMT is only possible through a series of sensors and computer processors. These components come embedded in devices, troop equipment, and other military assets.

To work, they need input from an array of data points, for instance, biometrics and static information. This information helps streamline operational command and control. One example of this is Geosite’s military system. The start-up’s collaborative platform helps improve planning and executing operations.

The Geosite system works by processing and aggregating information from a variety of sources, including drones, IoT, satellites, etc. Using this information, it bolsters air defenses and paints a clear picture of the battlefield landscape.

4.   Cyber Warfare

The most dynamic military technology trend is cyber warfare. Why? Digitization and interconnection of technology have raised vulnerability to cyberattacks. In the military, cyberattacks cause leaks of classified data and corrupt defense systems. Over the past several years, the concerns of cyberattacks on defense organizations have only gone up.

Fortunately, a proactive approach can help mitigate that risk. That means using the latest in automation and artificial intelligence (AI)—especially on military systems and nuclear assets. In cyber warfare, the major military technology trends include phishing attacks, ransomware, etc.

Organizations like HarfangLab are leading the charge in cyber warfare. It offers protection to vital infrastructure used in national defense.

These organizations are built on robust programming to provide cyber protection with the best speed and security. Moreover, all their systems are open by design. That means their solutions can merge with any organization’s current cybersecurity protection.

5.   Additive Manufacturing

A critical consideration when developing military personnel equipment is weight. Ground troops and special forces need lightweight gear to be effective. The priority for military equipment manufacturers is always on speed, capacity, and fuel efficiency.

3D printing is one of the fastest growing military technology trends to solve this. Unlike traditional manufacturing, 3D printing requires fewer raw materials for parts and components.

What’s more, 3D printing cuts down production costs by facilitating production localization and reducing the time frame. It makes it easier to test new ideas and designs. Moreover, it facilitates on-demand production and eases the pressures of logistics. Additionally, you can combine materials to produce ammunition, self-heating clothing, and armor.

The image featured above is an example of a strong thermoplastic part produced via fused deposition modeling.

Summing Up

For centuries, the use of technology in warfare continues to play a decisive role in conflicts. And military powers all over the world are in a race to gain the upper hand in the face of rising global tensions.

From Mach 5 planes and missiles to robotic patrol “dogs,” IoMT, cyber warfare, and additive manufacturing—these are the five major military technology trends to watch out for.

Adam Hansen