Friday, April 2, 2021

Future armies

In the last several years we've had many memorials of past wars. 2014 was the the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War 1, In 2018 we commemorated the end of that war (the war to end all wars!). We still remember the anniversary of D-Day, 6th June 1944. Pictures of men in trenches, men sloshing through the shallows at Normandy, pointless bayonet charges against machine guns. 

But war has changed, at least if you're in our first world.

And as usual, SF got there first. Remember the Trade Federation's droid armies in the Star Wars prequels? Sure some of them were props so the Jedi could slash about with their light sabres without actually... you know... splattering body parts everywhere. (I was about to write 'blood' - but lasers cauterize wounds). 

The Israeli army is actively working on robot soldiers - and they're getting good. This video is about 4 minutes long.

The Trade Federation also had automatically controlled fighters. And the US military is doing that sort of thing right now. Someone sitting in front of a screen somewhere in the US can direct a heavily armed drone to a target in Afghanistan and take out a moving vehicle. Boom. No one on our side even gets dirty. 

Then there's the power of nanotech. We might actually find flesh and blood soldiers will be a thing of the past and droid armies will be so yesterday.

But assuming we still have real live soldiers, there is other tech. How about a soft suit which could assist people by giving them an exo-skeleton with engines to give them extra strength? Or liquid armour, as well as an exo-skeleton? References were made to Batman's suit, and Iron Man's capabilities. Then there's Star Lord's wonderful helmet in Guardians of the Galaxy. It forms around his head when he presses a button.

And I thought to myself, I'm already using tech like that in my stories. In my Dryden Universe stories the military uses liquid armour - that is, a seemingly ordinary material which becomes battle armour at the press of a button. Helmets sit in the neck piece of the space suit until required.

And that segued on into thinking about the changing face of battle. Maybe we're not all that far from the way we're headed.


  1. Great post, Greta. And I agree that SF/R authors have to be a little more imaginative and creative when it comes to future weaponry. So many possibilities.

  2. Great post, Greta! Very interesting how the modern world is catching up with SciFi. A few years ago we thought Ender's Game was SciFi and now the military has drones as you said.

    Though, I can't help but to imagine how nice the future would be if we didn't have to keep thinking up ways new tech to kill each other and protect ourselves from violence. Wouldn't it be great if humans could dream up ways to be peaceful and helpful instead? ;)


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