With the G.I. Joe movie hitting the theaters this weekend we will probably be treated to all kinds of really cool weaponry that might seem more sci-fi than real but you would be wrong. Even though the U.S. military might have some of the coolest toys around they aren’t resting on their laurels as they are working hard to turn what might be science fiction into hard core reality.
Here’s just a few items that are either in the testing phase or on the drawing board.
The XM-25 Rifle – designed to replace the standard issue Colt M4 rifles the XM-25 is designed to use smart bullets that would let soldiers fire around corners or into trenches. The new rifles are expected to be deployed by 2012.
Aurora Excalibur – the next generation drones are planned to take over for the current flock of Predator drones that are seeing extensive action around the world. The Aurora is supposed to have a top speed of 460 mph, be able to take off and land vertically and carry 4 hellfire missiles – all by remote control.
100kW Laser Cannon – obviously meant to replace tradition guns on battleships this free electron laser uses a superconducting electron accelerator to focus its beam in order to take down cruise missiles, planes or ships.
F-35 Lightening II – meant to replace much of the current line-up of the military’s aging air fleet. At only $83 million per plane this is consider the cheaper alternative but also the most versatile. The F-35 is three designs rolled into one: takes off normally, short runway take-off with vertical landing, and finally launchable from aircraft carriers.
Battlesuits – this is probably one of the most sought after battle tech items but Lockheed-Martin is already hard at work on the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) which is basically a wearable computer that senses the direction the wearer wants to go and then accelerating that movement using its battery powered titanium frame.
hat tip to DVICE