For many centuries, militaries from all parts of the world have looked for an edge in combat. From invisibility cloaks to a real life Iron Man suit, join us as we take a look at 10 pieces of crazy military technology you won’t believe exists.
10. Active Denial System
This nasty weapon shoots a non-lethal, energy directed heat beam. When fired, it rapidly heats the surface of its target. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced an intention to trial this weapon on prisoners in the Pitchess Detention Center in LA. They took an interest in its ability to break up prisoner fights. The weapon itself is effective at dispersing crowds, but it requires so much power and is so heavy that its practicality has been questioned.
9. ADAPTIV Invisibility Cloak
Developed in Sweden, this infrared camouflage system consists of hundreds of hexagonal plates that can be applied to an armoured vehicle such as a tank or personnel carrier. The plates gather thermal data surrounding the vehicle. Using this information the hexagonal armour can rapidly cool or heat itself to mimic the temperature of certain objects, like a parked car, a boulder or even the surrounding forest, effectively turning the vehicle invisible to heat-detecting night vision devices.
8. Corner Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher
The Corner Shot has a hinged barrel that can pivot at a 60-degree angle allowing for corner cover fire. A digital camera under the barrel links to a video display for safe and accurate targeting. Boasting a 150 metre range, this bad boy can fire single 60mm rounds, tear gas and other non-lethal explosives.
7. Hummingbird Drones
While large drones are used to attack targets with missiles, small, hummingbird-size drones are designed to spy on suspected enemy positions without being spotted. These devices have been in development for many years, but it is not known whether they are currently in military use or still being tested.
6. Invisibility Cloak
Just like in the Harry Potter films, there is a cloak that provides camouflage for the wearer. Boubacar Kante, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, has been testing a thin ceramic material that can be layered over an object. The ceramic surface manipulates electromagnetic waves at different wavelengths such as visible light or radio waves, effectively turning things invisible.
While it’s still in testing, sources say that this crazy military technology could be deployed in the field as early as five years from now.
5. Special Forces Super Suit
Marvel’s Tony Stark has been inspiring military minds to create a robotic exoskeleton. Called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), it can augment strength, provide armor protection, and even respond to stimulus from the brain. It will not be mass issued, but it is thought it would be used by a lead operator who would breach a tactical situation first, opening it up for the rest of the squad to enter.
4. PHASR Rifle
Talk about crazy military technology this thing looks like it comes straight out of ‘Star Trek’. Listed under the category of laser dazzler, which sounds more like it belongs in a gay bar than the military, this weapon does pack a punch. The rifle fires a low-intensity laser beam which is designed to temporarily blind and disorient a target.
3. Smart Glasses
For the past six years Osterhout Design Group (ODG) has been developing high-tech military eyewear. Similar to Google Glasses, these glasses can display high-definition video, record what they see and lay visuals over the real world. Using advanced facial recognition software the smart glasses can even scan a crowd of people to detect targets of interest.
ODG have been working on a consumer friendly version of the military smart glasses that run off a modified version of Android – boasting wifi, Bluetooth, a GPS system and a robust virtual reality projector.
Known as the Legged Squad Support System or LS3, this strange four legged robot has been designed to bear the load of soldiers in the field. The LS3 is approximately the shape and size of a horse and can carry around 180 kg (400 pounds). It can sense and negotiate varying terrains via cameras mounted onto its ‘head’, which also allows it to follow human orders and record intelligence. It’s not known when this technology will be used, if ever, in the field.
1. The Pokémon Gun
Several years ago the United States Military developed a top secret weapon that could induce seizures.
The weapon was inspired by the 1997 episode of Pokémon that caused 700 viewers to experience epileptic-like seizures after Pikachu skitzed out and fired a blue and red flashing lightning bolt at an enemy.
According to a declassified document, the military planned to create a new class of non-lethal weaponry that would fire electromagnetic pulses that would trigger nerve synapses directly, disrupting muscle control causing 3-5 minute seizures on its victims.
However, the report states that the weapon never made it past the theoretical phase.