Raising the High-Tech Bar

For years, the United States has had a high-tech edge for their weaponry that other nations have struggled to copy or steal. Stealth technology, satellite targeting and very sensitive underwater detection systems kept us safe from our rivals and ensured our military dominance when diplomacy failed.

Over the last decade, however, that technological gap has been steadily eroded. Indigenous designs and outright theft of technology have shrunk the gap to the point where Russian ships can launch cruise missiles that cross three countries before hitting their target – well, most of them crossed the intervening countries – and the Chinese are preparing to deploy stealth aircraft on an aircraft carrier.

Technology that was once exclusive to the United States is spreading around the globe and, worryingly, the U.S. has fallen behind in some fields. The Chinese test launching of hypersonic glide vehicles far surpasses American research.

LaWS
The Laser Weaponry System (LaWS)

But, all is not lost. According to the Motley Fool, Boeing and Lockheed are finally bringing the 1980’s fantasy weapon systems to life. Opponents of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) mockingly named it Star Wars after President Reagan revealed military and technological goals that would render the Soviet Union’s ballistic missile threat impotent.

Star Wars was a pipedream thirty years ago, but the research has generated some success. Laser weaponry equipped on Navy ships is a fact. Although still in the prototype stage, the Laser Weaponry System (LaWS) has been tested onboard ships and appears to be working.

Boeing is working on creating a laser generated force field. When sensors detect an explosion, lasers target the space between the vehicle and the explosion, superheating the air molecules until they form a plasma barrier. Although it won’t stop physical objects, it can block the effects of explosions.

Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have developed an ‘ultra-thin Teflon substrate’ that incorporates ceramic cylinders that can bend light around it. Able to block radar and light waves, the material has been called a real-life cloaking device.

These are just a few of the programs that U.S. researchers are working on. Although the gap might be closing – Russia finally figured out technology we have been using since the First Gulf War and China has a piece of crap carrier with F-35 clones onboard – the high-tech projects being developed in this country will keep the U.S. military on the leading edge of technology for the future.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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