Militaries and private companies around the world are developing new technologies that turn warfighters into super soldiers. Jet-powered suits that allow the wearer to hop between boats moving at 20 knots and flying hoverboards are just the start of it.
The Russian military, as well as the US, France, and Great Britain, are all developing futuristic technologies that seem like something straight out of a Marvel blockbuster. But these technologies aren't far off in the future; many are already in testing phases - or in use on the battlefield.
Read on to see some of the most wild, futuristic military tech out there.
French inventor Franky Zapata's high-flying hoverboard made it all the way to France's Bastille Day celebrations this year. French President Emmanuel Macron was so enamored that he tweeted a video of it, suggesting that the French military might use them in combat one day.
The US Army is in the final testing stage for its Enhanced Night Vision Goggles-Binocular (ENVG-B), which will allow soldiers to accurately shoot from the hip and around corners. They also provide improved situational awareness, thermal imaging, and better depth perception.
The FLIR Black Hornet III is a pocket-sized drone will perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in combat. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division already has the drones, which come in a pair — one for daytime and one enabling night vision. The drones are about six inches long and can fit on a soldier's utility belt. The Army hopes to equip every soldier with the drones in the future.
According to Russian state media, the Russian military is developing the D-14 Shelest parachute system, which will allow soldiers to access their weapons and begin firing immediately after they jump out of a plane.
Russia's infantry could soon be wearing the Ratnik-3 exoskeleton armor that reportedly allows soldiers to fire a machine gun with one hand. It has integrated electric motors — an improvement over the Ratnik-2 version, which was not motorized. It's in testing.
Inventor and former Royal Marine Richard Browning tested his Jet Suit over the English Channel this week, using the five-turbine suit to move back and forth with ease between Royal Navy boats.
The Army is developing a 50 kilowatt laser cannon, the Multi-Mission High Energy Laser (MMHEL) to be mounted on Stryker combat vehicles. It's designed to shoot drones and explosives out of the sky, and the Army plans to roll it out in the next four years.
The Army is testing goggles that employ facial recognition, as well as technology that translates written words like road signs. The goggles may even be able to project visual data from drones, right in front of soldiers's eyes. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) is a modified Microsoft HoloLens technology and is expected to go into wide use in the mid-2020s