Weapons of War: the present & future

Since the dawn of mankind, weapon technology has evolved radically. From the utilization of blades and swords, to the invention of gunpowder, weapons has been made more deadly, with greater killing efficiency and accuracy. In the 21st century, new weapons of war has been created, radically changing how wars are fought. Wars in this century has been characterised by rapid deployments and projections of force, combined with superior firepower and technology to achieve devastating effects on the enemy.

As of today, many weapons systems are highly advanced, using state-of-the-art optics and tracking systems. An example of such is the Patriot Missile system which is able to destroy ballistic missiles and aircraft. It has been deployed during the Iraq Offensive, shooting down SCUD missiles, achieving astonishing results, and preventing many deaths. In addition, advanced armored vehicles has been making their debut around the world, such as the Leopard and the Abrams tanks. These tanks are the result of years of research & development. The Abrams tank had gone through a baptism of fire, and it proves highly effective in destroying enemy vehicles.

Several breakthroughs has been made in the field of airbourne weapons. Since the invention of the airplane, it has been used to wreak havoc & destruction on enemies below. However, the always face the threat of being detected and shot down by anti-aircraft weapons systems. This has changed since, with the invention of stealth technology. It has been successfully adapted to two separate airframes. First, the F-117 Nighthawk, also known as the 'Stealth Fighter' has a small radar cross section, which allows it to be virtually undetectable by enemy radar systems. This allows it to sneak behind enemy lines to disrupt/destroy command and control infrastructure. However, the best known of all is probably the B-2 Spirit 'Stealth Bomber'. This plane has a radical shape, making it look like a 'flying wing'. With a higher payload capacity than the F-117 Nighthawk, this aircraft can also carry nuclear weapons, serving as a nuclear deterrent.

So, with all these technology already in place, what does the future of warfare herald?

Research has already been made into the automation and computerization of weapon systems. For example, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has already made its debut, helping armies around the world to gather information without putting a human pilot at risk. "Fire & forget' weapons are also on the drawing boards, with missiles that only require a human operator to launch it, and it would autonomously track and destroy its target with bone-chilling efficiency and accuracy. In addition, advanced personal armour has been created, known as the 'Dragon Skin' it allows its wearer to be almost impenetrable to convention rounds.

With all these new developments and research taking place, it will only be a matter of time when a new weapons system would revolutionize modern warfare.

Done by:
Ler Yi Poh

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