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Defence Technology

Table of Contents


Types of future war technologies.

Artificial intelligence.

Remote technology.

Autonomous weapons.

Cyber operations.

Space operations.

Need of advanced technology for future warfare.

Challenges of technology corresponding to future warfare.

Contribution of technology in warfare.



Introduction to New Technologies and The Law in War and Peace

After World War II, an unimaginable advancement in warfare technology has been seen. The USA is one of the super-advanced countries when it comes to defence and warfare technology. Various studies indicate that after commencing of the nuclear age, most of the countries on the planet have become prone to develop new warfare technology, either for defence or attack purposes (Latiff, 2017). Digital technology has significantly improved the abilities of countries to develop new tactical weapons and use them with high precision. In current times, advanced countries such as the USA and Russia are working to find new ways to develop weapons and acquire supremacy in the battleground.

Artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons, space technology and many other types of technologies are currently into considerations throughout the world, which are likely to reshape the future war tactics (Freedman, 2017). The USA is a superpower and the only country on the globe, which has started deploying these technologies in its defence forces when other countries are only conducting their researches. Not only this, many future technologies are underway, which may emerge in the coming decades. With these advancements, the questions on the need for super-advanced warfare technology and its effectiveness in reshaping the future wars emerge.

This report is entirely focused on warfare technology, which is under considerations by advanced and developed countries and can be used in future wars. Therefore, the report provides an insight into many technologies such as artificial intelligence, remote technology, autonomous weapons, space operations and many others. In addition to this, the report also includes information describing the need for such technology as well as the advantages and challenges associated. Further, there is a significant concentration on analysing the impacts of these technologies in future wars.

Types of Future War Technologies

Artificial Intelligence

It is one of the most advanced technologies in current times, which focuses on simulating human intelligence within machines. Artificial intelligence allows the machines to take rightful and feasible decisions by themselves and carry out tasks without human aid (Murray, 2017). In this manner, manual efforts are not required to be made by the machine operators. It is a noticeable technology to develop new weapons by considering future wars. Many countries in contemporary time are working on artificial intelligence technology and how it can be used in warfare. In the context of war, artificial technology may help the forces not to put human efforts in targeting and using the right weapon at the right place (Kosal, 2019). For example, air defence systems, if integrated with artificial intelligence, may launch missiles by themselves, whenever they observe an intruder or energy aircraft within their territories. In this manner, decisions regarding the choice of the missile to attack the aircraft and targeting are taken by the machines. As a result, the accuracy of targeting can be enhanced with the use of artificial intelligence. It can be analysed that in war situations, loss of human lives is one of the victory determining factor. Therefore, the use of weapons equipped with artificial intelligence may allow a country to acquire supremacy and save casualties.

Remote Technology

Remote technology can be understood as a technology in which human is not required to go to the desired place by operating some machine. On the contrary, remote technology helps in operating sophisticated machines through simple tools such as computers, joysticks and many others (Latiff, 2017). This technology is somewhat like videogame technology in which machines are controlled from a distance through unwired means. One of the astounding examples of remote technologies in contemporary times is that of drone technology. It is found in many studies that countries such as USA, Russia, China, Israel and many others have developed remote planes or drones, which can be used for various purposes such as reconnaissance, attack and so on.

 The above figure presents the MQ-9 Reaper drone, which has been developed by the USA for attack and reconnaissance operations. It can be analysed that such remote technology can be greatly effective the reducing the loss of life in wars as professional pilots are not required to risk their lives in conducting raids and sauté (Del Monte, 2018). Drones like MQ-9 Reaper are operated by professionals from thousands of miles away and may acquire an elevation of thousands of meters. In this manner, it becomes highly difficult for the enemies to intercept remote technology. It is one of the major reasons why US Air Force is considered as the most powerful air force in the world because it has deployed the remote technology since decades, which is a task challenging to other countries.

Autonomous Weapons

The autonomous weapon also signifies the latest developments in the weapon technology. These weapons have the capabilities to intercept the aircraft and other vessels of the enemy by themselves (Wong, 2013). For example, the hypersonic missile is one of the noticeable autonomous weapons, which has sheer speed and accuracy. Similarly, THAAD air defence system developed by USA and S-400 missile defence system developed by Russia are also some of the prominent examples that can be given in an autonomous weapon category. These missiles are developed on the concept of “Launch and Forget”, due to which they detect any suspicious activity and launch guided missiles. Also, it is found in many studies that guided bombs are developed as autonomous weapons, which do not require manual targeting.

The USA has acquired a competitive edge in developing autonomous weapons by creating guided bullets, which can be fired by even a child. These bullets automatically detect the enemies and hit them with high accuracy, as shown in the above figure. It can be analysed that autonomous weapons may reduce human-made errors; if used in wars (Gareev & Kipp, 2013). At the same time, technologies such as self-guided bullets may allow countries to reduce the cost of war. However, full-scale implementation of these technologies has not become possible yet; but, these are likely to be used shortly.

Cyber Operations

Along with several tactical and broad range of weapons, internet-based attacks are also laying the foundation of future wars. Every country on this planet is connected through internet technology (Krome, 2012). Internet is the only mean to the defence forces of any country to operate all weapons except manual guns, rifles and artillery guns. For this reason, a country launching a cyber attack on its enemies may easily acquire all crucial information, which can be the reason behind the enemy’s defeat. Attack of nuclear launch codes through cyber means may put the global pace into danger.

It can be understood that the department of defence and war technology in every country manages its operations through internet-based tools and store its data on secured databases. Scenarios of cyber attacks and intruding may compromise the security of a country as their defence secrets can be accessed by their enemies (Gruszczak & Frankowski, 2018). For this reason, cyber attack and operations are also considerable aspects, which must be considered under future warfare. Any country accessing the control of the cyberspace of its enemies may do substantial damage, which could be a victory determining factor.

Space Operations

It is one of the newest areas of war in contemporary time of super-advanced war technologies. Space wars or operations refer to the attacking practice of a country in which artificial satellites launched by its enemy country are hijacked or damaged. However, none of the country in current times has exhibited such space war operations; but, there are vital probabilities of such operations in future (Boothby, 2018). It is found in many studies that approach of hijacking the satellite and so on may allow an enemy country to negotiate or face terrible consequences.

Similarly, the establishment of missiles and payloads in space is another technology on which many countries are currently working. These technologies may allow a country to target its enemy directly from the space and satellite hovering over it. It is the future technology, which can make the war one-sided towards the country, which masters this technology. Also, it is found in many studies that the USA might have plans to establish missile and war payloads on the moon and create a moon station, which can be used during space wars (Roland, 2016). This way, it can be analysed that there are several space operations, which are currently under consideration by different countries. These operations may lay a firm foundation for the space wars in future. In this scenario, countries with highly advanced space technologies may acquire a competitive edge and supremacy.

Need of Advanced Technology for Future Warfare

In current times, every country is opting to acquire new defence technology so that its security can be ensured. After World War II and commence of the cold war, every country aligning to either Western or Eastern blocs was required sideline old defence and attack technology. Various studies suggest that countries can be as influential in global politics as their armed forces are (Latiff, 2017). It is a major reason why developed countries such as USA, Russia, and China and so on are focusing on creating breakthrough war technology so that they might prove their supremacy and sustain dominating. Researches and development being carried out in the USA for defence technology are pushing its direct enemies and rival countries to adopt similar tactics to exist. For example, the Cold War between Russia and the USA lead to the development of thousands of nuclear weapons. Also, the phase of the Cold War triggered the space race and considerations for the deployment of weapons in space were being made.

However, many countries have acquired and developed technologies such as air defence systems, missile technology, advanced generation fighter aircraft; but, leading countries such are focusing on developing breakthrough technology, which could replace the existing technology and can be the reason behind their supremacy and dominance (Freedman, 2017). In future, these scenarios are much likely to enhance because of competition between countries for business, defence technology, border disputes and many other geopolitical reasons.

It can be analysed that development of new technology by a dominant country allow its immediate rivals to face the threats of existence. Therefore, it is necessary to countries, which have substantial image and role in geo-politics to undergo research and come up with new technology, providing future sustainability (Murray, 2017). Dominance by a single country such as the USA or other may result in a monopoly in global politics. Hence, it can be said that future war technology is highly essential in current times due to the treat of existence.

Challenges of Technology Corresponding to Future Warfare

Along with several advantages associated with future warfare technology; there are also certain challenges, which are described in the following way.

Cost: Cost is one of the major challenges to the countries, which are heading towards developing future war technology. It is found from many studies that war technology is highly expensive in which aircraft or missiles can be developed after spending millions or billions of dollars (Rosen, 2018). Such highly expensive technology can be used only when a country will engage in wars with its enemies. For this reason, investing such a large amount of capital on future war technology such as space operations, autonomous weapons, and many others may put countries into significant pressure to manage their gross primary productivity. In current times, there are a few countries, whose GDP exceeds one trillion. The USA is the largest economy, which may easily bear the cost of developing such expensive technology. In this manner, it becomes challenging for countries to spend on future war technology and maintain their economy at the same time.

Research: Another challenge associated with developing or acquiring future war technologies to countries is an intense need for research. Various studies conducted by different researchers and scholars show that countries developing breakthrough war technology are required to undergo intense research for years (Gray, 2012). Scientists and engineers work together to develop new weapons, which are more efficient than the existing war technology. For example, USA commenced the research for developing drone and autonomous aircraft technology in the decades of 1980. Due to long term research, the country could develop some super-advanced future war weapons such as High-Intensity Lazer Beam, MQ-9 Reaper drone and many others (Spiegeleire, Maas & Sweijs, 2017). Hence, research and time associated with the development of new technology is also a major constraint to countries.

Contribution of Technology in Warfare

Future wars will likely be much different from the wars and attacks conducted by countries in current times. In these wars, the technologies described above can be greatly effective and game-changing. Some major contributions of the technology in future warfare are described in the following manner.

  • Technologies such as artificial intelligence are likely to transform the nature of future wars. It can be said that the abilities of machines to take decisions as per the emerging situations may allow them to use the weapons without consent (Butler, 2018). These technologies can be greatly effective in reducing the activities of terrorist camps in specific regions such as the Middle East and many more. Machines equipped with artificial intelligence may themselves target such camps based on the system generated information. Similarly, mechanic intelligence is also likely to enhance the security of countries from attacks through the air or other means. In current times, human intelligence is required to read the patterns of suspicious activities in border areas and take decisions to intercept and destroy the target (Boothby, 2018). These activities can be performed easily through artificial intelligence, ensuring national security from attacks.
  • Similar to that of artificial intelligence, remote technology is also likely to reshape the future warfare. This technology can be effective in targeting enemies from a distant location. Use of drones and uncrewed fighter aircraft can be greatly effective in reducing the loss of life during wars in future (Wong, 2013). The study indicates that wars in future are more likely to be short-termed, whose consequences can be determined through the attack and defence technology. In this manner, remote technology can be a game-changer. For example, the USA has developed drones as well as hybrid fighter aircraft, which can be operated manually as well as through remote technology. This way, the air force of the country can execute special operations by speculating the need of the situation (Del Monte, 2018). Also, it is found that the US Air Force has inducted the remote technology successful due to which Iraq was one-sided. Various artillery guns and tanks developed by Iraq could not match the destroying capabilities of remote technology in which pilots were operating the drones from a distance. In future, nearly all wars are likely to be the same as the Iraq war.
  • Autonomous weapon technology is said to have significant impacts in reshaping the war tactics in future. Missiles, self-guided bombs and bullets may do substantial damage to the enemy of a country, if used (Kosal, 2019). It can be understood that forces operating autonomous weapons are not required to target manually. On the contrary, locations of the targets can be entered into the guiding system of missiles and bullets due to which the target can be hit accurately. Mass production of self-guided bullets and other autonomous weapons is likely to reduce the cost of war to countries (Boothby, 2018). The concept of “One Bullet Per Head” can be well implemented due to which waste of bullets and missiles due to inaccuracy can be eliminated.
  • In future warfare, cyber operations are also likely to play an unimaginable role in determining the victory of a country. All internet-based war technologies of a country may get compromised if hackers and intruders enter into the server of the enemy country (Spiegeleire, Maas & Sweijs, 2017). Not only this, but, these scenarios may allow a country to target its enemy by their weapon. For this reason, countries will be required to allocate double hackers, which may detect and intercept the activities of intrusion and take suitable actions at the right time.
  • It is one of the major areas of war operations, which will be considered in future. The study suggests that most of the countries are launching their artificial satellites to enhance communication systems and defence against attacks. In this manner, the artificial satellite becomes a primary target to bring the enemy country to a compromising position (Rosen, 2018). Countries such as the USA, Russia, China, India and many more have developed anti-satellite missiles to destroy the network of satellites in orbit. Also, it is much likely that countries install their weapons and payloads on satellites, which may trigger wars in space. Technologies of satellite hijacking can also be considered in future to acquire supremacy and victory in wars.

Conclusion on New Technologies and The Law in War and Peace

It can be concluded from the above report that war technology is likely to reshape the war tactics immensely. There are different types of technologies, which either are developed or are into consideration. These technologies include artificial intelligence, remote technology, autonomous weapons, cyber operations and space operations. It can be said that the USA is the only country in current times, which has inducted nearly all these technologies and has acquired a competitive edge. MQ-9 Reaper drones developed by the USA and self-guided bullets are some of the astounding examples of future war technology, which are likely to influence wars. These technologies may act as the victory determining factor to the countries, which use them.

Further, it can also be said that remote technologies and autonomous weapon technology are much likely to be the game-changer in wars in future. Use of drones may allow countries to save the lives of their soldiers. Also, it is found that these technologies may reduce the need for manpower to conquer the wars in future. The above report has shown that the use of super-advanced technology has allowed the USA to source victory in Iraq war easily. In future, drones, unmanned technology, space operations, cyber operations are more likely to occur due to their advantages. However, some challenges with the use of these technologies are also found in the report, which includes the high cost of development of future war technology and the need for extensive research and time.

References for New Technologies and The Law in War and Peace

Boothby, W. (2018). New Technologies and the Law in War and Peace. UK: Cambridge University Press

Butler, S. (2018). War Is a Racket. USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Del Monte, L. (2018). Genius Weapons Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Weaponry, and the Future of Warfare. USA: Prometheus Books

Freedman, L. (2017). The Future of War A History. UK: Penguin Books Limited

Gareev, ‎M. A. & Kipp, J. (2013). If War Comes Tomorrow? The Contours of Future Armed Conflict. USA: Taylor & Francis

Gray, C. (2012). The Airpower Advantage in Future Warfare The Need for Strategy. UK: Lulu.com

Gruszczak, ‎A. & Frankowski, P. (2018). Technology, Ethics and the Protocols of Modern War. USA: Taylor & Francis

Kosal, M. (2019). Disruptive and Game Changing Technologies in Modern Warfare Development, Use, and Proliferation. USA: Springer International Publishing

Krome, F. (2012). Fighting the Future War An Anthology of Science Fiction War Stories, 1914-1945. USA: Taylor & Francis

Latiff, R. (2017). Future War Preparing for the New Global Battlefield. USA: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Murray, W. (2017). America and the Future of War The Past as Prologue. USA: Hoover Institution Press

Roland, A. (2016). War and Technology: A Very Short Introduction. UK: Oxford University Press

Rosen, S. (2018). Winning the Next War Innovation and the Modern Military. USA: Cornell University Press

Spiegeleire, ‎S., Maas, ‎M. & Sweijs, T. (2017). Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Defense Strategic Implications For Small- and Medium-Sized Force Providers. UK: The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Wong, W. (2013). Emerging Military Technologies A Guide to the Issues. USA: Praeger

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