The next major change to military combat will come in the form of new weapons. Historically, military weapons have been self-contained, or “self-contained.” During World War II, the U.S. stocked its arsenal with 18 howitzers and 200 M113 armored personnel carriers. With a new game-changing weapon, the odds of victory increase. It might not necessarily be the next supersonic bomb, but it will be a revolution.
According to Pentagon preparations, autonomous drones could soon be used on battlefields to protect infantry squads below. Robots will carry heavy weapons and vehicle gunners will be trained to maintain laser weapons. Eventually, platoon leaders on austere islands in the Pacific will be able to get orders through satellites and 5G wireless networks. While this may seem like a far-fetched scenario, it’s possible that this technology could change the military’s strategy and tactics.
China’s YAL Airborne Laser Testbed is a proof-of-concept weapon. It was installed inside a converted 747 aircraft and featured the largest laser turret ever built. Developed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles mid-flight, it shot a test target in 2010.
Another military game changer is an advanced missile system. China is currently developing anti-ship cruise missiles. But the missiles are expected to have much lower ranges than Tomahawks. Another weapon is a ground-based mobile laser. It could blind an enemy satellite in low-earth orbit (LEO), where it has the most potential to cause damage to the enemy. It also has the ability to hunt incoming missiles from a truck.