The Top 5 Pieces of Special Forces Gear for the Soldier of the Future By: Michael Ruiz When Bronze Age armies first laid down their clubs and hammers to don metal armor and swords, it was a quantum leap in military technology. Progress in the field of war-making has only accelerated since then, and the Special Forces gear in use on the modern battlefield is truly astounding. To stay ahead of the enemy, the soldier of the future will need the most advanced weapons, armor, and tactical gear the military industrial complex has to offer. Let’s take a look at the top 5 pieces of Special Forces gear for the next-generation soldier. 1. Helmet with Integrated Tactical Communications Far from being a simple “brain bucket” like the steel helmets of the First World War, the helmet worn by the soldier of the future will be an advanced tactical device. Constructed of high strength composite materials, it will be capable of deflecting armor piercing rounds. Integrated into the helmet will be a fully featured tactical communications system, complete with satellite uplink, camera for relaying real time video, and a heads up display with friend/enemy identification system and navigation. High speed satellite communications will allow real time communication between command centers and soldiers in the field, increasing effectiveness and saving lives. 2. Advanced BDUs Battle Dress Uniforms have been standard issue for all military forces for decades, but advances in materials engineering are leading to some incredibly powerful battle suits. Advanced BDUs will be hybrid camouflage / body armor suits. The camouflage will use digital fractal printing techniques that allow it to be effective in desert, woodland, and urban areas. The much hyped “invisibility suit” is also being developed, which will employ optical distortion and light bending technology to make the soldier all but disappear. The suit will feature pockets that accept advanced composite armor plates that can be swapped out in response to changing enemy weaponry. It will also include embedded sensors that monitor the health of the soldier, and even integrated personal heating and cooling systems have been proposed. 3. Drone Control Device The power of unmanned robotic drones for both reconnaissance and assault has already been demonstrated, and there is no question that aerial and ground robots will have a significant role in the future battlefield. But they will still need to be controlled by a human (at least for the foreseeable future), so the next generation soldier’s tactical gear will include a wireless robot control module. Likely worn strapped around the forearm or perhaps integrated into the helmet, the control module will allow soldiers to command drones in real time on the battlefield. 4. Advanced Hybrid Machine Gun The soldier of the future will love his gun. It will be an all-in-one weapon with a modular design that allows it to fill the role of several of today’s firearms. It will be effective in close quarters as an assault rifle, as well as being a long range sniper rifle. And no spotter will be needed for sniping, since an onboard computer will use a laser range finder and wind sensor to take the place of a human spotter. It will be capable of launching grenades, smoke bombs, non lethal projectiles, and various riot control devices. It will feature field swappable barrels, uppers, lowers and receivers, allowing it to transform in to the weapon needed at the time. 5. Exoskeleton On top of the advanced BDU, the future Special Forces soldier will wear a powered exoskeleton. The exoskeleton will serve two purposes. It will be constructed of high strength composite armor materials that will further protect the soldier from enemy fire. It will also multiply the strength of the soldier. The concept of the “Super Man suit” has been kicked around for decades, and the technology is starting to catch up with the fantasy. The idea is to use a battery pack to power servo motors that assist the soldier’s movements. Depending on the power of the batteries, the exoskeleton could conceivably increase his strength ten fold, turning him into a true super soldier. I certainly wouldn't want to face a soldier with this kind of Special Forces gear in his arsenal. The soldier of the future will be a total weapon, advanced in both defensive and offensive battle technology. This kind of tactical gear may seem like science fiction, but all these items are being developed right now. Or maybe they’re already in use and we just don’t know about them!
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