Technology has had a significant impact on the evolution of the military over the past decade. Advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and cybersecurity have resulted in new systems and capabilities that have changed the way militaries operate.
Some of the most significant changes include:
Autonomous systems, such as drones and robots, are playing an increasingly important role on the battlefield. These systems can perform tasks independently, allowing soldiers to focus on other tasks.
Guided weapons and smart munitions have enabled armies to engage targets more accurately. This reduces the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage.
Advanced communications systems enable militaries to share information and coordinate operations more effectively. This improves decision-making and coordination between units.
Increased Cyber Security
Armed forces are increasingly exposed to cyber-attacks. Advances in cybersecurity are helping militaries protect their systems and networks from these attacks.
The Spanish Army
As in the education of children, they have recognised that each person is different and has individual needs. As a result, there have been innovations in equipment personalisation. Technology is enabling armies to tailor equipment to soldiers’ individual needs.
This can improve soldiers’ performance and safety. In fact, the equipment of the future will be lighter and safer.
This exoskeleton, called GUDEX, has been developed by the Basque company Gogoa Mobility Robots and offers significant improvements to the soldier:
Indra has its virtual reality system, where an army platoon can synchronise with another in a nearby base and together they can create virtual simulations of real environments. Basically, it is the training of the future, with the ability to introduce elements at the click of a button, fog effects, helicopters, enemies, environmental difficulty. It also prepares them from the handling of the weapon to more complex instructions.
Obviously, these systems allow us to save costs and time and to generate much faster learning processes, as well as to develop and introduce timely changes or tests without fear of injury or death.
This is strange because years ago there was a headline from an army commander in Spain that said the following
Virtual reality will not come to Spain
When asked about the future of military training, José J. Vicente, from the communications office at the El Goloso base, assures us that the army does not need to spend money on new technology, as it is enough to update the software according to specific needs: “We don’t need a more complex simulator. We just need to make the missions more specific”.
Vicente rules out the use of virtual reality in the Spanish Army – “We have no plans to use it in the future,” he asserts – but the technology is gradually finding a place in other armed forces. The US Army uses a programme called the Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) to teach tactics and teamwork in a virtual environment.
The Spanish Army is seeking to improve the maintenance of vehicles and weapons systems in its logistics parks and has promoted mixed reality for this purpose.
What you see in the video has already been tested in the Calatayud base (Zaragoza) and is one of the initiatives that will be reflected in the aforementioned Cordoba base. If you watch the video carefully and look at the computer equipment used by some of the soldiers, you will see that it leaves a lot to be desired… IT IS TIME TO UPGRADE
However, to give you some encouraging data, according to the Global Military Technology Development Index (GTDI) of 2023, Spain ranks 26th out of 137 countries in terms of military technology development.
U.S. Army and others
The most active US programme currently using virtual reality and exoskeletons is the US Army’s Warrior Web programme. Warrior Web is an integrated combat system that combines virtual reality, exoskeletons and other advanced technologies to enhance the combat capability of the infantryman.
A soldier carries a 27kg load while walking with a prototype of DARPA’s Warrior Web system during an independent evaluation conducted by the US Army.
The Warrior Web has two main components:
The virtual reality component provides the soldier with an immersive battlefield experience. The virtual reality component uses virtual reality goggles and a motion tracking system to allow the warfighter to see and experience the battlefield as if they were there.
The exoskeleton component provides the soldier with increased strength and endurance. The exoskeleton component uses motors to help the soldier carry heavy loads, run faster and jump higher.
In addition to virtual reality and exoskeletons, the Warrior Web includes other advanced technologies such as
- An integrated weapon system that allows the soldier to fire accurately from any position.
- An integrated communication and navigation system that allows the soldier to stay connected to his teammates and command.
The Warrior Web is currently under development, but is expected to be operational by 2025.
(Integrated Visual Augmentation System) project, the US Army purchased a large number of HoloLens. However, more than 80% of soldiers reported dizziness and nausea, and doubts began to be raised about the viability of the project. IVAS cost $21.9 billion to supply 120,000 units over ten years.
But IVAS 1.2 appears to have come to fruition, thanks to a major upgrade that includes
- A larger, higher resolution screen
- Longer battery life
- Improved motion tracking
- A new user interface
The system can display intelligence, navigation and targeting information, as well as images from thermal and night vision cameras.
It can also be used for virtual training of soldiers. IVAS integrates with ground and airborne platform sensors, allowing soldiers to see outside vehicles before dismounting in a dangerous situation. IVAS provides 3D mapping and navigation capabilities and can receive data from unmanned aerial vehicles.
This is just nonsense. It is completely unbelievable.
Yes, the Armed Services Committee is concerned about the $5 billion already spent, at the same time as the US Congress is talking about withdrawing its financial support for the project. It is estimated that the complete outfit will cost about $60,000 per soldier.
China, on the other hand, is following in the footsteps of the abandoned US Land Warrior programme. Specifically, the “corner shot” system
This programme allows you to aim and shoot your weapon without having to be behind it. In other words, the scope is connected to your eye sight, so you can shoot from a corner where you can see the gun without having to show your head through augmented reality.
Xloong was founded by former Huawei hardware engineer Shi Xiaogang. He developed these goggles.
On the other hand, the Scottish police are implementing the use of augmented reality glasses that can detect criminals, provide real-time language translation and even lip-reading. They can also warn of criminals in the area or if people are carrying weapons.
In China, the same glasses provide even more intrusive, country-specific information. Police smart glasses have a camera that connects to a smartphone-style device that processes photos of a suspect’s face and returns information such as name, ethnicity, gender and even addresses. So you get augmented reality, artificial intelligence and IoT in one connected device.
You may have noticed that the term Metaverse has not appeared in it but I am almost convinced that if you have been following me from the beginning you have been able to find the similarities with multiple technologies that reside in the ecosystem.
Using the term is fine as long as we treat it carefully without wearing it out. We have seen XR, AI and even supersoldiers with new suits or exoskeletons. If you think the human of the future Metaverse doesn’t go through all this, wait for the next issues.
Likewise , I leave you some articles that relates the military directly to the term in case you have been left half way through
I have left out a lot of interesting things like nootropics and “pills of the future” but that will be, as I always say, for future editions.
See you again !