armed forces life in the future

ak256

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Hi, I was just wandering, what do you think military life, technology, deployments etc will be like in the next 8-10 years?

Do you think battles and wars will still be fought?

Or do you think that soldiers will be replaced by high tech robots (Just finished watching the terminator...)

any thoughts?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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It's a fascinating topic, but as with all things military, whilst the technology is undoubtedly out there, cost is the limiting factor.

In the 1970's & 1980's we were announcing the intention to have warships without guns, armed instead completely with fire & forget guided missiles, yet we still fought conflicts with WWII bombs and WWII guns.

The ultimate goal would be to determine the outcome of conflicts that cannot be resolved through diplomacy with a virtual war, however there will always be the need for troops on the ground as it's the only way to stop the technology being used is to manually disable that capability by stopping your enemy physically controlling it against you.

A good example is through Electronic Warfare- disrupting and jamming weapons, infiltrating computer systems to demolish a country's economy & infrastructure - a good topic for AIB candidates!

When you think of the advances in warfare technology, it's always about gaining the upper hand through increasingly nefarious means, be it Greek Fire, Machine Guns, Atomic Bombs, Chemical & Biological weaponry or whatever the human mind is capable of inventing.
 

proudtobebritish

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I reckon it will always be humans against humans and all the bloody warfare and stuff. Fair enough we might have better technology such as better explosives or missiles but its always going to be people with some sort of gun or guns i reckon. :bud:
 

a flying dodo

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I dont think it will change a great deal. If you look back through history weapon systems and veichles are used for quite some time. The price of changing things is rediculous. If it aint broke dont fix it,simple. :)
 

MrSkippy

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Can't see many major developments due to the fact everyone thinks we now live in a happy world. Call me a pessimist but - we don't. So long as humanity is here, there will always be fighting.

Only advancements I can see at the moment on the infantry level is a move to caseless weaponry, higher tech communication and battlefield recognition tools, and better balistic protection.
Problem with caseless ammo was cooling, as if the gun got too hot - ammo would discharge. But these days with TINY liquid nitro cooling systems for computers around, whats stopping them using them in a rifle? (It'd fit a reservoir in a but stock easily, just need shock absorbers).


Tanks will probably increase the calibre of weapon (as protection on western tanks is getting difficult to penetrade with current calibres), but at the same time new types of armour will be produced. Yes never ending cycle.
Nothing fancy like hover tanks - whoever thought that idea up was a dumbass as it's not a stable platform and producing the energy to lift a 50 tonne tank up.. ya aint happening *text deleted*.


Aircraft will turn into small multirole vehicles (much like f35 is going to be), and big aircraft like the b52 will probably lose its status and use, unless they need a battlefieled carpet bombed. But due to price and reluctance governments will be looking for the most cost effective solution.

Navy: dunno, what else cud they honestly have other than space ships... :laugh:
 

jm745

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They still developing gauss guns?
Thought that was the next big thing.
 

mike webb

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alright lads!

I think to really get to grips with this question you have got to ask yourself who your main enemy is. And in all honesty at the moment our main enemys are largely based in the Arab world. And these fighters have the most primitive weaponary, yet we still fail to swiftly defeat them. we talk of caseless rifles and higher calibre tanks, and perhaps these will be introduced in the future, however the SA-80 will be with us until 2015 in the least, i think the stuff your talking about here is a long time in the future. But wen u look at it, what would these advances help us acheive. many could argue that we also need to defend ourself against more developed nations, such as Russia, and whilst we will never go to war with Russia simply because we are evenly matched (well Nato Vs Russia that is) it would destroy the world as nuclear missles would be released. the cold war is over, but we will forever play games with them, the military race will never cool down, tis jst the way the russians are.

but wen u look at the short, middle and longer term deloyments in a realistic light it is more likely that it is the middle east that will be host to our aggression for years to come. when u look at WW2 we were constantly trying to develop new technology to defeat an evenly matched enemy, but wen you look at afghan, in what way are they even with us , and in what way is this a conventional war? whilst in the past wars were fought over territory and multi-nations defence pacts, this war is over ideals and beliefs. i read on a previous topic that there are no front lines and no enemy territories anymore, this is a hit and run war. so i think, wen looking at the big military developments, these will be reserved for tactics, troop training (trying to creating a more gruellia style of soldiering) and an ever increased use of S.F's.

guns may change, but at the heart of it, they will always have a simple roll of killing people. In this new age of ideals and hearts and minds, a human soldier will nvr be replaced. robots and machine will slowly become more involved in the battlefield, but i cant see a machine replacing the mental grit and the physical determination of a solider.

mike
 

ak256

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alright lads!

I think to really get to grips with this question you have got to ask yourself who your main enemy is. And in all honesty at the moment our main enemys are largely based in the Arab world. And these fighters have the most primitive weaponary, yet we still fail to swiftly defeat them. we talk of caseless rifles and higher calibre tanks, and perhaps these will be introduced in the future, however the SA-80 will be with us until 2015 in the least, i think the stuff your talking about here is a long time in the future. But wen u look at it, what would these advances help us acheive. many could argue that we also need to defend ourself against more developed nations, such as Russia, and whilst we will never go to war with Russia simply because we are evenly matched (well Nato Vs Russia that is) it would destroy the world as nuclear missles would be released. the cold war is over, but we will forever play games with them, the military race will never cool down, tis jst the way the russians are.

but wen u look at the short, middle and longer term deloyments in a realistic light it is more likely that it is the middle east that will be host to our aggression for years to come. when u look at WW2 we were constantly trying to develop new technology to defeat an evenly matched enemy, but wen you look at afghan, in what way are they even with us , and in what way is this a conventional war? whilst in the past wars were fought over territory and multi-nations defence pacts, this war is over ideals and beliefs. i read on a previous topic that there are no front lines and no enemy territories anymore, this is a hit and run war. so i think, wen looking at the big military developments, these will be reserved for tactics, troop training (trying to creating a more gruellia style of soldiering) and an ever increased use of S.F's.

guns may change, but at the heart of it, they will always have a simple roll of killing people. In this new age of ideals and hearts and minds, a human soldier will nvr be replaced. robots and machine will slowly become more involved in the battlefield, but i cant see a machine replacing the mental grit and the physical determination of a solider.

mike

good point, I think that you're right in that maybe robots and Arnold schwarzenegger would perhaps in some distant future be used on the battle field for conventional warface, but for unconventional warfare, its hard to beat a human being.

Its funny actually, I just read an article in a magazine about a company that designs and build robots and other electronic equipment for the military. I quote "These products would get soldiers off the battlefield, and out of harms way".

WTF? they're soldiers... being in harms way is kind of what they are trained to do. *text deleted*
 

DamageInc85

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Good thread and a fascinating topic. I've worked for a large aerospace and defence company for the last 4 years and the amount of R&D going is mind blowing. With regards to the next 8-10 years I think the most revolutionary development is going to be the UAVs. They're being used to a relatively limited range and role at the moment, all be it very succesfully, but their capabilities are only going to evolve and get better and better.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I agree with an earlier post, we'll see a shift away from mission specific vehicles and weapons to multi-role platforms. Our main missions in the future will involve plenty of low-intensity conflicts, so we'll need to adjust accordingly, or risk not having the ability to intervene.

The Navy, if it has any sense, will lose the 'escorts' and in the main consist of carriers, submarines and helicopter assault ships like HMS Ocean for the deployment of troops. Without the escorts, we could afford a lot more of these more useful ships.

The RAF should be mostly scaled back to the defense of UK Airspace and operating heavy lift transport planes. With all the money saved from the escorts and the RAF not being allowed to purchase single role, hideously expensive fighters, the Fleet Air Arm will be able to handle nearly all of our operational needs, from carriers sitting safely out at sea. All of our airforces should train intensively and almost exclusively to provide close air-support to the troops on the ground, and the very few targets that we need to strike deep inside a hostile country should be left to cruise missiles. Heavy lift helicopters, like the Chinook, should be taken away and put under the exclusive control of the Army and Marines.

With the 'airforce' (Fleet Air Arm or RAF) reigned in and forced to focus on the mission of close air-support, the Army will be able to do away with a lot of things. Firstly, the Army won't need to be flying the Apache anymore. The only reason they do is because it has 'Army' written on the side and the fly-boys never had the planes to provide all the tank-busting and close air-support that we need. Now they do, so the Apache is redundant. It's much better and safer to destroy a tank from a plane than it is with a helicopter, ditto with providing fire support. For much the same reasons, we won't need the Challenger either. The armoured 'recce' regiments should be disbanded (it'll be all done with UAVs), and more of a focus put on the essentials. I.e, infantry. We should be increasing the numbers of infantry we have, not decreasing them as we have done. Most of the money the Army recieves should be spent on light-role infantry and its equipment, and armoured infantry. Infantry is what we need on the ground in huge numbers in Afghanistan, not tanks. Tanks against rebels never works out in the long run.

In the future, we'll need to rapidly respond to threats. The focus should be on light, deployable and flexible forces. Of course, that's the ideal... Unless there's a major sort out at the MOD, in 10 years time we'll end up with about 6 infantrymen, 500 Eurofighters, dozens of escorts and dozens of regiments of tanks. We'll probably have the millitary clout of Iceland. Depressing...
 

Touchstone

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I agree with most of the above post, and with the general consensus that in the next couple of decades we may be fighting a series of low intensity conflicts. But a question is, how would we fare in a high level conflict, not that there would be many contenders? Though apparently in a few years time countries like India and China will have significant increases.

While I cannot imagine that we would ever have robots replace humans as infantry, I could imagine their usefulness in reconnaissance and surveillance, and this is no doubt being done to a degree.

I also wandered what people think about augmentative technology in soldiers? It is probably a long way off but you never know, we could see them within a decade or two. These are things, like computer chips say, in a person that alters their biology to make them more effective and efficient.

Know I know it's a weird example to use but they had this in Metal Gear Solid 4 (Game). Something called nano machines where within every soldier of the US Army. Earlier versions of this allowed a certain degree of control over people with nano machines. For example someone with a virus they could increase the persons blood sugar levels and number of white blood cells through communication with the nano machines through their information systems.

The later versions allowed complete suppression of pain, as well as fear, increased regeneration, as well as seamless communication with their units, creating the perfect soldiers. I know it seems far away but this type of things are being researched. There is already talk of computer technology to augment the human brain. To actually be able to store real memories electronic, and to speed up the thought process and improve logic.

Sorry if I waffled a bit.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Good thread and a fascinating topic. I've worked for a large aerospace and defence company for the last 4 years and the amount of R&D going is mind blowing. With regards to the next 8-10 years I think the most revolutionary development is going to be the UAVs. They're being used to a relatively limited range and role at the moment, all be it very succesfully, but their capabilities are only going to evolve and get better and better.


The UAV is indeed interesting as they can gather intelligence & fire missiles on target from remote.

The next thing is using one UAV against the opposing UAV-armed force- unmanned aerial combat at great range. Basically "pilots" operating them in a virtual cockpit. The next stage could be virtual UAVs! It gets a bit mind-blowing.

The interesting thing about UAVs is that it's often beneficial to simply track your target so you know what they are up to rather than taking-out your target and not knowing who the next personality actually is and being unhable to track an unknown.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I agree with most of the above post, and with the general consensus that in the next couple of decades we may be fighting a series of low intensity conflicts. But a question is, how would we fare in a high level conflict, not that there would be many contenders? Though apparently in a few years time countries like India and China will have significant increases.

While I cannot imagine that we would ever have robots replace humans as infantry, I could imagine their usefulness in reconnaissance and surveillance, and this is no doubt being done to a degree.

I also wandered what people think about augmentative technology in soldiers? It is probably a long way off but you never know, we could see them within a decade or two. These are things, like computer chips say, in a person that alters their biology to make them more effective and efficient.

Know I know it's a weird example to use but they had this in Metal Gear Solid 4 (Game). Something called nano machines where within every soldier of the US Army. Earlier versions of this allowed a certain degree of control over people with nano machines. For example someone with a virus they could increase the persons blood sugar levels and number of white blood cells through communication with the nano machines through their information systems.

The later versions allowed complete suppression of pain, as well as fear, increased regeneration, as well as seamless communication with their units, creating the perfect soldiers. I know it seems far away but this type of things are being researched. There is already talk of computer technology to augment the human brain. To actually be able to store real memories electronic, and to speed up the thought process and improve logic.

Sorry if I waffled a bit.

Hah. The whole nanites thing didn't work too well for the US when Liquid turned them off!

I think under what I proposed, we'd fair a lot better going toe to toe with China than we would currently. Tank busting from the air is so easy the pilots call it 'plinking', like you'd do with an air rifle and some tin cans in the back garden. Killing a tank with another tank is like killing a dog by getting down on your hands and knees and biting it to death. It works, but there's safer, more effective ways of doing it. There's obviously a lot more to war than tank busting, but I'm feeling too lazy at the moment to list them all and the reasons why a lighter, more flexible millitary would be better at it.
 

a flying dodo

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Personaly i dont think tanks could work very well against a modern army equal to ours. With Javelins etc. i dont think tanks will stand chance.

I would go into more detail but me keyboard is pissing me off.
 

mike webb

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so wat you are getting at is that the main weapons of todays battlefield are highly mobile infantry and air power? which is what i agree with. it all goes back to WW2 and hitlers blitzkreig, the lightning war. air power mixed with fast moving units. i agree that tanks are a very old fashions idea, sporned in the misted of WW1, and perhaps in todays era of mobile, fast moving, insurgent warfare a 100 tonne tank doesnt reli have a part to play.

mike
 
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