Seven latest advances that revolutionized military technology




Mankind has been waging war since the dawn of civilization. Armed conflicts have led to the rise and fall of empires, shaped national borders, and established the supremacy of powerful countries. Over the course of centuries, the innovation of technology has allowed belligerent societies to develop more sophisticated lethal weaponry, equipment, special craft engines, and much more.

To get a sense of just how far we’ve come since the time of the catapult and the basic bow and arrow, here are 7 major advancements that revolutionized the practice of modern warfare.

Global Positioning System

Available on virtually every smartphone nowadays, the GPS is a staple of the 21st century. It uses satellites and triangulation methods to enable instantaneous location feedback, itinerary preparation, mapping, and more. Meanwhile, a majority of people remain unaware that the Global Positioning System was initially engineered by the United States’ Department of Defense throughout the 1960s as a military technology (only made available for civilian use in the 1990s). This tool has made navigation and exploration significantly more convenient and efficient, among a variety of warfare applications.

Drones

Ever since the invention of the flying plane, aeronautics has played a crucial role in the practice of war. The ability to spot, monitor, and strike targets from the air was a game-changer that gave armies a major tactical advantage. Nowadays, unmanned aerial systems are used for both military and commercial purposes, and serves to gather intelligence, for surveillance, as well as other strategic objectives. Now, due to their booming popularity, defense contractors continually work to build drones that are more autonomous, durable, and reliable than ever before. Many even predict these will be the future of warfare.

Stealth aircraft

As of today, autonomous missile-deploying drones still cannot be expected to fully replace experienced pilots. Ever since World War II, the military aviation industry has been designing stealthy airplanes capable of minimizing radar detection by using a wide range of advanced technologies, including reflection, radiofrequency, and infrared emissions. Aboard a stealth aircraft, a pilot will be capable of targeting and launching attacks while evading airspace surveillance, taking the enemy by surprise, and giving his side a considerable edge.

Submarines

On the sea and oceanfront, modern submarines have replaced traditional warships in naval warfare. Robust and well-equipped as ever, these massive underwater vessels are used to transport weapons and missiles, conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, back up attacks on the land, and even put up strategic blockades. Seeing as countries are never truly safe from a seaborne attack on their coastal borders, submarines are powerful craft for both defense and offense. So, it stands to reason that these are major advancements in military warfare.

Tomahawk Missiles

First used by the United States military during the Gulf War in 1991, Tomahawk missiles have quickly evolved to be a staple in any given country’s defense arsenal. In essence, these long-range, engine-propelled missiles fly at low altitudes to attack various targets on land. They are guided at a distance using GPS technology and can reach staggering speeds of up to 500 mph, nearly 800 km/h. What is so characteristic of the Tomahawk is that it flies at subsonic speeds (below the speed of sound) to allow for more accurate target acquisition.

Space weaponry

After covering the land, sea, and air, the space frontier is on its way to becoming a favored battleground for the world’s most military-capable nations. Historically, it was the Cold War that initiated the militarization of space, with rising tensions between the United States and the ex-Soviet Union. In time, the US, Russia, and China have raced to create warheads that can be shot into space and obliterate satellites and other Earth-orbiting systems.

Nuclear bombs

The introduction of nuclear power in warfare is undoubtedly humankind’s single most sophisticated and destructive military technology advancement. Nuclear bombs use nuclear reactions to generate colossal amounts of explosive energy. The technology was spearheaded by scientists working on the Manhattan Project at the onset of World War II. By the 1940s, the United States had already built a nuclear arsenal and proceeded to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. While this is the only instance in history where they were used in a war context, nuclear weapons continue to cultivate the fear of a global nuclear war that would annihilate humanity as a whole.

Ultimately, given how governments around the world are investing trillions of dollars annually on military expenditures, it is not surprising to see military technology evolve at such exponential rates. Among clear-cut communication tools, advanced vessels, and state-of-the-art warheads, all of this coupled with rising tensions, it’s only fair to say that warfare has got long days ahead.

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