Not long ago, I gave an interesting interview to a science writer about new weapon systems on the immediate horizon – specifically what sort of weapons might we see in the next 5-years. This is an important question for military planners and defense professionals, even high-level politicians who must allot the monies to stay ahead of the game, ahead of the competition and ahead of any threats. Okay so, let's talk shall we?
Daniel asks; "According to your expertise and studies, what types of new weapons will we see in the near future?"
Indeed, I see several new weapon systems on the horizon both near term and beyond-line-of-sight. With regards to your most excellent question, in 3-5 years, 10-years at most, which actually is a long time when it comes to research and development to actual battlespace use to full production, we will see quite a few advances in weapons technologies.
To briefly state the obvious, we will see lots of robotics, autonomous solutions, cyber, stealth, and artificial intelligence, which means that new iterations or production blocks of current technologies will have much greater capability, perhaps to the point that although these defense systems may look old – same basic airframe, ammunition size, or outer structure – they will appear in performance to be game-changers. Case in points might be steerable munitions, bullets, or MAV (micro-air-vehicle) flying, hovering, stealth, loitering hand-grenades, and cyber warfare for instance.
One of the big pushes we see presently, thus, guaranteed trends in the near term are with mini-drone defense systems to detect and eliminate threats. These small drones are being used by our enemies, terrorists, and are being considered valuable tools by anyone considering asymmetric strategies, and right now and in the near future, that includes all sides of the game, first world nations fighting fire-with-fire and the guerrilla or terrorist element. Two can play at that game, and both sides are and will continue as these technologies rapidly advance.
Everyone has UAVs now, even the terrorists. In a recent case Hezbollah had a little quad-drone flying over Israel, and the pilot shot it down with a Patriot Missile – consider that for a minute, shooting down a little toy drone that one could buy at Wal-Mart for a $ 500- 600 with a missile costing nearly one-million dollars. The hit-to-kill cost ratio tells us such methods are not sustainable. Thus, we will soon see small laser anti-drone guns to down little drones. In fact, we are going to see a lot of very cool high-tech weapons in the near future. Please consider all this – Don't Hesitate, Be Great.