Problems have existed all throughout time on the battlefields of the past. There have been many problems including being easily seen, defending against airstrikes, and problems with infantry. But as the possibility of war increases, new steps must be taken to eliminate these problems so we will be able to defend ourselves. To neutralize many of these new threats, the problems of the past will be eliminated due to new technology.
In the past, whenever their was a conflict, air and ground superiority was a must. This was because were heavily needed to bombard enemy strong holds to weaken them so ground forces could move in to finish the enemy off quickly. But one major consequence always came into effect, getting picked up on radar. This was a constant problem because jet fighters let off a lot of heat when weapons were fired; consequently, they were easily tracked and destroyed by heat-seeking missile. Another problem was that, when jet fighters were attacked by enemy fighters, the hard maneuvers the pilot would try to do to escape, would lead to blackouts.
Fortunately, these problems have been eliminated do to the creation of stealth technology and innovations in flight suits. One of the new planes the United States in working on, the F-22 Lightning, will use radar absorbent materials to absorb radar waves instead of reflecting and revealing its location to the enemy. Because of this, “The F-22 Lightning will be able to perform strike on enemy targets that are deep behind enemy lines.”(Sweetman, 108), without the threat of possibly being seen. Also, to lower heat caused by the firing of weapons, the F-22 Lightning M61A2 Gatling Gun will have a hinged door, which coolant flows through, that will cover it. Because of this, the efficiency of Heat-Seeking Missiles, which are used in almost all close quarter combat, will be greatly reduced. Also, to help prevent blackouts, pilots will have a new flight suit which will help them. This new suit will hold blood in place so that it does not rush to the pilots head when he or she goes into avasive maneuvers to escape a enemy. Oxygen is ,also, constantly pumped into the lungs when fling at high pressure. This is so that blackouts do not occur due to lack of Oxygen to the brain and it also prevents the lungs from expanding to much. So, in these ways the problems of being picked up on radar, being tracked by heat-seeking missiles, and blackouts have been eliminated due to new technology.
Their has also been a number of factors that have negatively affect the use of ground vehicles, when they are quickly needed. One of the major ones the was the fact that they made a lot of noise when running and they were also easily picked up on radar. Also, due to their enormous size, they were usually very heavy and cumbersome to transport. Because they were so heavy, it took more time to transport to where they were needed and when they arrived they could not travel as fast as smaller vehicles., which made them more susceptible to enemy fire by smaller more agile enemy fighter vehicles.
But fortunately, just as with jet fighters, these problems have been eliminated due to new technology. The new ground vehicle, JTEV (Joint Tactical Electric Vehicle) which is being made by the United States army, will be completely covered in radar absorbent material so that it will not be picked by enemy radar. The Joint Tactical Electric Vehicle will also run off of energy stored in battery packs; because of this, it will be able to run completely silent for up to 10 miles at full speed, 115 miles per hour. It also “Better than every ground vehicle that is in it class,”(Stuart, 45). The Joint Tactical Electric Vehicles rival, the Humvee, weighs 7,700 pounds and is 86 inches is much heavier than the 5,000 pound Joint Tactical Electric Vehicle which is only 65 inches. Also, since the Joint Tactical Electric Vehicle is smaller and faster it can reach enemy targets faster and undetected. It is also easier to handle and is equipped with the same
M-60B support gun. So because of this, the problems of being picked up on radar, the large amount of noise they made, transportation, and speed have all been solved through new technology.
Another problem of the past was defense against the threat of ballistic airstrikes. This problem still takes place today as seen by the attack on NATO last year. This was a very big problem because the United States only had a single Terminal Phase System, the Patriot Missile. “The Terminal Phase System, is the system by which enemy missiles, fired from stationary position are intercepted and destroyed.” (Mazarr, 219) The Patriot Missile was not very good for two main reasons: 1, it required the enemy missile to be in a range of at least of 50 miles before becoming effective, and 2, because it was not very accurate and it was easily evaded due to its imperfect targeting system.
But these problems have also been eliminated due to the new Multi-Layered Ballistic Missile Defense. This new system will consist of three separate phases. The phases are the Boost Phase, Mid-Course intercept phase, and the terminal phase.
The first of the three phases is the Boost Phase. In this phase, by acquiring information about a airstrike before it happens, “A interception missile will attempt to hit a enemy missile right after its launch.”(Klaus, 15) This is the best point to hit a enemy missile because the missile is at its weakest point because it has not accelerated to its fastest speed yet, and because it will fall back on top of the enemy. The second phase is the Mid-Intercourse phase. This phase is the second best phase because it attempts to hit the enemy missile while it is inbound to its target. Another reason is because it does not have the possibility of hitting the defenders. The last phase of defense is the Terminal or Low Phase. This is the most dangerous stage of defense because debris can fall onto the defenders. Also, the missile must be deposed of by explosive techniques because the earth’s atmosphere interferes with laser and particle beam protection.
To improve the chances of each phase of the Multi-Layered Missile Defense, the missiles used to intercept the enemy missile will be GAMS, GPS Aided Munitions,(GPS is the Globbal Positioning System which tells the precise location of everything that is on earth). By the implication of GPS into the missiles the chances of a hitting a target will be greatly enhanced. This is because GAMS calculate for Circular Error Probability which will guarantee that the missile will hit within 20 feet of its target, no matter where the missile is fired from. So because of this, the problems that were associated with defense from ballistic airstrikes have greatly been reduced due to the new Multi-Layered Missile Defense.
Out of all of the problems one of the most important ones was infantry. Infantry has “The greatest number of strengths and weaknesses.”(Friedman, 203) Their major strengths are that they are the most agile unit on the battlefield, they are stealthy, they control themselves, they can react in any situation, and they can hide to escape enemy fire almost anywhere. But unfortunately, just as things have there goods, they have there bads. Infantry’s major problem are that their armor can not stop a round larger than a standard rifle round. Their knowledge of their surroundings is limited to their vision, and compared to weapons which are guided, infantry’s weapons are inaccurate and weak.
But what if you could find a way to get around all of these weaknesses? Well the United States armed forces have found a way. The Integrated Soldier System is the answer and it will provide new weapons and armor. This suit will have many benefits due to the new due to new exoskeletons. This new suits will work by attaching electrodes to the skull of the soldier that sense magnetic fields generated by the brain prior to and during motion. Because of this it will be able to emulate and enhance human muscle motion. As a result of this, not only will strength be increased, but speed will also. “A man able to lift 100 pounds ,for example, would find that he might lift from 500 to 1000 pounds.”(Friedman 307) Also, so the suit will not hinder the solider, it carries its own weight; because the suit weighs one ton.
This new suit will also provide much more armor and protection to the soldier.
The suit as said by Tim Beardsley will be able to stop rounds up to 20 millimeters. The size of the round is comparable to a small tank round or 2-liter pop bottle. The reason why this is possible is because of the suits enormous size which as said above weighs above a ton.
New Soldiers, in combat , will also get better information due to the new helmets that are equipped with the suits. The new helmet is comparable to the cockpit of a jet fighter because it use a HUD, or Heads Up Display. Through the Heads Up Display vital information will come into the soldiers helmet from satellites and aircrafts and will be downloaded directly into their HUD’s, which will also be equipped with GPS. Due to this, the factor of limited vision is removed.
Soldiers using the Integrated Soldiers System will also be equipped with stronger, long range weapons. Each soldier will have a side arm, individual combat weapon, and a used to defend the whole team. The side arm will be equivalent to a handgun that shots large caliber rifle rounds. The individual combat weapon will no longer use standard rifle rounds, they will use fire thermal and magnetic rounds. The strength of each of these rounds is comparable to weapons that are found on platform driven petroleum engines, like on Battleships.
Lastly, they will be equipped with a crew service weapon, which will be a guided mortar round, the javelin. The Javelin is currently being used by helicopters to stop tanks. Each soldier will be equipped with at least on, but no more than three due to their large size. The Javelin has also been modified to fire over 50 miles in any direction and are equipped with GPS. “This is the greatest benefit to any soldier on the field,” as said by Tim Beardsley. So because of these advancements, almost all the weaknesses and problems associated with infantry have been removed.
So in conclusion, the tactics used on the battlefields of the past will be obsolete because on the battlefields to come, new technology will be used which eliminate the problems that plagued the battles of the past. All problems that were associated with being seen on radar have been eliminated due to the creation of stealth technology. Visibility, the sending of information, and munitions have forever been changed by GPS. And the infantry will reach the status of super soldier due to the implication of exoskeleton, which is part of the Integrated Soldier System. Because of all many of the problems of the past have been eliminated by new technology.
Beardsley, Tim. “The Machinery of Thought.” Scientific America. Aug. 1997: 78-83.
Brown, Stuart F. “Stealth on Wheels.” Popular Science. Feb. 1997: 44-48.
Friedman, George, and Meredith Friedman, eds. The Future of War. New York: Library of Congress Catologing-in-Publication, 1998.
Klaus, Leigh Ann. “GPS Advancements Overshadow Growing Pains.” Defense Electronics. Feb. 1995: 13-16
Mazarr, Michael J. Nuclear Weapons in a Transformed World. New York: Library On Congress Cataling-in-Publications, 1997.
Sweetman, Bill. “Top Gun.” Popular Science. June 1997: 102-107.
Weapons At War. History Channel. Atlanta. 2 Feb. 2000.