From 'bendable' guns to cyborg bugs – incredible weapons poised for battlefields of the future
CYBORG BUGS, guns that shoot round corners and robo-suits that give soldiers super strength – it sounds like something from a sci-fi flick.
But these bonkers weapons and vehicles are real, and they could hit battlefields around the globe in the near future. We take a look at what is currently under development.
"Bendable" guns that shoot around corners are the next big thing lined up for the world's SWAT teams.
A screen linked to a camera on the end of the weapon can show the user what’s happening inside a building as colleagues prepare to storm in.
Golan, designer of folding gun CornerShot, says the bendy HD-66 and CF-06
firearms remove the risk to the user of “initial exposure” to gunfire.
Among the most dangerous moments in an urban assault are when the soldier up front has to poke their head around a corner or doorway.
Military minds have been trying to commandeer flying bugs for spy operations for decades.
Called Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), the goal is to use insect cyborgs to snoop on enemies undetected.
Various projects are looking to strap tiny cameras or tracking devices to large creepy crawlies like beetles.
A recent freedom of information request revealed that US military agency DARPA was considering implanting electronics into insects at the larva and pupae stage to make the system work.
Hypersonic aircraft can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, making them almost impossible to detect or shoot down.
China, Russia and the United States are all said to be testing the technology, which is expected to change the face of nuclear warfare.
The US Air Force has been working with Boeing on its X51A Waverider for years.
The hypersonic aircraft – even faster than concorde – is intended to allow the Pentagon to deliver strikes around the globe within minutes.
At its top speed the WaveRider will hit 4,300mph, fast enough to travel from London to New York in about an hour.
Despite warnings from the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk, militaries are pushing forward with killer robot technology.
The US Army is working with contractor Qinetiq to get its Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) into the field.
In its current iteration, it can scout for enemies, drag injured soldiers away from danger and even scour areas for booby traps.
It can even be loaded with a 400-round M240B machine gun or a grenade launcher to lay down supporting fire.
Precision grenade launcher
One futuristic weapon already in use in battlefields is a precision air-burst grenade launcher called the XM25.
It has a range of 770 yards and was first tested by US troops in Afghanistan.
Soldiers set the gun's laser sight on a wall and a computer onboard calculates the trajectory it should be fired at.
A hailstorm of explosives then fire beyond the wall before detonating above the targets, scattering shrapnel behind enemy lines.
This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAYHEM.
This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
It is thought the weapon will have greater efficiency, control, and precision and it is touted for use in space.
The unique things about the projectile is that it can be morph into the best shape to travel in space or penetrate its target.
Currently it is being developed for handheld weapons but it is expected to be adapted in the future
The Armatix smart pistol is a high-tech handgun that can only be fired by an authorised user.
Rather than using a fingerprint or face scanner, the weapon recognises its handler via an accompanying smart watch.
The watch operates as a wireless key to a lock on the trigger, allowing the gun to fire when near.
The wearable also provides real-time data on the pistol such as the battery charge level and number of shots fired.
Military leaders in the US are trialling a futuristic Iron Man-style exoskeleton to give their soldiers superhuman speed and strength.
The state-of-the-art kit uses artificial intelligence to provide additional power and mobility to soldiers allowing them to carry bigger guns into battle.
Early tests show the FORTIS system – developed by Lockheed Martin – has already increased abilities up to 27 times.
The exoskeleton is now being tested with elite soldiers at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, which is one of the US's military top military training centres.
The battery-powered frame uses independent motors allowing soldiers to carry 180 pounds (82 kg) up five flights of stairs using minimal energy.
In other news, the US military is reportedly developing a laser weapon that can generate the sound of a voice out of thin air.
The US Army is also testing a 50-kilowatt laser weapon that incinerates drones, helicopters, planes and missiles.
And, here are the weirdest things lost by Uber passengers – including a jetpack and a bulletproof vest.
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