Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Smart helmets and super-protective uniforms for soldiers of future

During the recent 30 years, military uniforms have changed considerably. First of all, this is connected with computers and new materials. Computers are now widely spread at all command levels. Personal weapons, though, are comparable to mechanical arms of the 1940s. Everything depends on the funding that governments provide for military production.

By 2025, military helmets for ground troops will represent personalized systems that will be used to carry tiny and super-light communication and life support systems. British and French scientists predict that future combat helmets will completely cover the head and include a slide-out camera. Helmets will be made of kevlar or ballistic nylon with traumatic gasket to protect soldiers from bullet impacts.

The slide-out camera will be designed not to obscure the face. The eye shield will have a shading effect - it will be created with the use of the technology similar to the one used for the production of sunglasses. The shield will serve to protect the eyes from sudden intense flashes, for example, from tactical nuclear weapons.

In the lower part of the helmet, where the face remains open, will be equipped with a double filter system, mounted on the side of the helmet. The filters will guarantee complete protection from chemical and biological weapons, as well as from radioactive and other toxic substances. In short, soldiers will be completely protected from the dangers that may not always be detected.

For personal communication, the helmet of the future will have built-in microphones, similarly to present-day helmets used by pilots. For emergency communication at a distance, to give orders to a group of soldiers, the helmet will be equipped with a voice box. It will probably include a translating device, so that a person could speak the language of the country where he works.

For actions in the shadowed areas, such as inside a building, the helmet will be equipped with a source of light. This will free the hands, and the light will be directed to where a person looks. Finally, the helmet will have an integrated drinking system, similar to today's British respirators. The helmet of the future will weigh from 1.5 to 2 kilos - about the same weight of helmets worn by pilots of military helicopter.

Combat infantry uniforms of rapid response teams will be organized on the base of the all-in-one technology. It will not be similar to the uniform of modern-day tankers or infantrymen, who have all necessary things hanging on the belt. Owing to its unique design, each uniform will be sewn individually for every soldier.

Future combat uniforms will be not thicker than the present-day diving suit. The fabric will have a capillary structure, with the content of gelatinous substance in the form of a mosaic to protect a person from excessive heating or cooling.

The clothes-heating technology was designed for the crews of B-17 bombers during the Second World War. In the future, the fabric of the uniform will have fire-resistant and waterproof properties. It will also be able to change color in accordance with the area, where a soldier works. Microdots implanted into the surface of the uniform, will contain chemical pigmentation enabling the fabric to change color and pattern to blur the human silhouette. The technology will not make the soldier invisible, but it will make him harder to detect, like a chameleon.

Gloves will be very soft to ensure maximum mobility, and at the same time thick enough to protect against chemicals. Boots will be quite high, but they will have  thicker soles for greater shock resistance. The soles will also have protection against chemicals, including the liquids that may dissolve plastic. Both the boots and the gloves will be connected with the uniform at the wrists and ankles to ensure protection against nuclear weapons. Each infantryman will wear a small device on the wrist to determine the level of contamination of the surrounding environment, including the level of radiation.

Cargo pockets and pockets with flaps will be placed on different parts of the uniform. For example, a pocket on the right sleeve will have oxidant pills and a syringe with atropine. A pocket on the left sleeve will have self-adhesive patches to repair the uniform in case it gets broken. Pockets on the left leg will contain a first aid kit, bandages and syringes with painkillers. Pockets on the right leg will have food supplies for the period of 24 hours.

The belt will be outfitted with grenades and water bottles, various tools and a bayonet - quite a heavy tool like a machete that can be used for cutting and chopping. It is possible that in 2025, infantrymen will have small, yet very powerful lasers and radars. GPS will be fitted on the right sleeve.

These devices already exist, and there is no reason not to upgrade them to lighter and more compact gadgets by 2025. This will allow each infantryman to determine his position on the battlefield, while commanders will be able to see their soldiers moving.

An infantryman of the future will have a night vision device and a backpack. The weapons that ground troops will use in 2025 will not differ much from the weapons used in the 20th century. There are a number of reasons suggesting that the assault rifle of the future will be a standard one. There are three types of such assault rifles used nowadays. They are Steyr Pull (Austria), FAMAS (France) and SA80 (UK). The 5.6-mm NATO caliber is a standardized one that will probably become universal. Most likely, the future rifle will have the same caliber, but greater destructive firepower 

By 2025, the rifle will have a built-in grenade-launcher, probably of the 40-millimeter caliber, because it is most convenient. Division of fighters will have snipers armed with smoothbore rifles and guided bullets. Grenade-launchers will shoot programmable ammo that will be able to change the flight trajectory and even fly behind the corners of buildings or directly into trenches.

Vyacheslav Shpakovsky


Read the original in Russian 

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