With origins dating back to the American Revolutionary War, military engineering services are now at the forefront of unprecedented advancements in technology and weaponry. Defense contractors provide our country with the necessary arms to deter conflict with other nations, often utilizing massive budgets and resources to engineer the most progressive technologies the world has ever seen. New technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, directed energy, and more that are sure to hold significant implications for the future of international security. Continue reading to learn more about these disruptive technologies and how defense manufacturing is blazing a new trail into the future.
Directed energy is described as an umbrella term covering technologies that produce a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy to disable, damage, or destroy equipment – including drones and helicopters. No longer just a figment of science fiction, directed energy research has been conducted since the 1960s. Though it often fell short of expectations, the first operational directed energy weapon was fielded in 2014, with more plans to deploy lasers throughout 2021 and 2022.
Artificial intelligence technologies are intended to free human operators from dangerous or simple lines of work, allowing them to tend to more complex tasks. Currently, artificial intelligence is being incorporated into numerous military applications, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. These technologies can not only process more data than a human, but they can also make decisions and react faster. However, current iterations of artificial intelligence are at risk of producing unpredictable results due to undetected biases in their algorithms.
Though not likely to see the field before 2023, hypersonic weapons provide the military with an opportunity to deliver pinpoint missile strikes. Unlike the parabolic flight paths of ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles can maneuver en route to their target which makes defense difficult. Conversely, their fast flight time reduces the window for decision making and their path is unpredictable, which heightens the risk of unintended collateral during a conflict. However, once perfected, this technology will bolster deterrence and aid in efforts to defeat area denial strategies.
Quantum technology has not yet reached maturity, but it may hold significant implications for multiple technological applications, including communications, encryption, and stealth. Notably, quantum radar systems are hypothesized to be capable of identifying characteristics of objects with a greater level of accuracy than the radar systems of present day. For this reason, quantum technology could make it significantly easier to track and target vessels with low visibility, such as submarines or stealth aircraft. Minute movements, temperature changes, and other environmental factors may alter quantum states, so this technological advancement is largely dependent on advances in materials science and fabrication techniques.
By leveraging life sciences for technical applications, biotechnology presents opportunities for improved readiness, resilience, and recovery. Through the alteration of genes, biotechnologies could be used to enhance the performance of military personnel while yielding other benefits such as protecting against infectious diseases and mitigating the effects of brain injury and neuropsychiatric illnesses. Beyond human applications, biotechnology could also be used to create adaptive camouflage, cloaking devices, and self-healing armor.
Conflict breeds innovation and many of the most dramatic periods of advancement in homeland security solutions have taken place during times of international confrontation. This holds true today, as cutting-edge military engineering services remain in high demand. EEI Manufacturing provides a broad range of engineering services that complement comprehensive end-to-end manufacturing services – all of which are proven to bring value and accelerate time to market. Contact us today to learn more about the high-reliability products that we support for military, aerospace, and other defense applications, as well as homeland security services.