Military Technology

Military Technology
Technology in the military has greatly increased strength and eased the ranking among world powers and effected the development of new military weapons. The term Survival of the fittest means that the strong will succeed but the meek will not, this is the case with military technology. The U.S. has the best technology in the world, therefore we are the highest military power.

Technology is a very important part of warfare. Technology is driven by the military. The army’s race during the cold war, spawned some of the greatest technical achievements in human history. Space travel for example is a result of the X-plane project. The Internet was produced by the military as well. If we stop investing in military technology, we risk our safety. If other nations had more advance technology than we do, they would have more power than we do. If that was to happen, we face the threat of that nation taking over us.

Military technology may be divided into five categories. Offensive arms harm the enemy, while defensive weapons ward off offensive attacks. Transportation technology moves soldiers and weaponry; communications coordinate the movements of armed forces; and sensors detect forces and guide weaponry.

There are many types of technological developments in the military happening at all times. They range from new aircraft to sophisticated guidance systems. Teams of specialists work for years to develop some of our simplest equipment. These peoples everyday lives are devoted to the safety and protection of the citizens of the U.S.

Aircraft are one of the biggest areas of advancement in the past. Military aircraft have become more sophisticated in variety, effectiveness, and maneuverability techniques in recent years. After it was found that aircraft could be very useful in war, they started to become a necessity of war. After World War 2, technological advances in aircraft began. The advances include stealth, targeting, maneuverability, etc.

With stealth technology, many new and extremely effective aircraft have been developed for air warfare. One of the very first stealth aircrafts was developed for Operation Dessert Storm. This stealth fighter jet was the F-117A. The U.S. sent out 43 of these jets, and all of them returned and with not as much as a scratch on them. During Dessert Storm, the F-117A proved to be worth while after they had destroyed all objective targets in Iraq. Then began the development of a new, more advanced stealth, the B-2 Stealth Bomber. The B-2 stealth bomber has never actually been used in war, but in testing the bomber has proved to be a success. Stealth technology, although very expensive and time consuming, gives us the upper hand and the element of surprise in air warfare and tactical bombing missions.
Unmanned planes used to be unheard of, not anymore. The military has spent years on the development of these planes and are just now getting them perfected. Unmanned planes, also called drones, will not be used for fighters, but for tactical missions. They will be able to fly over an enemy base and take pictures of their defenses so we will be able to take that base easily, with fewer casualties. Being unmanned, the aircraft will be perishable, although costing a lot it will save lives.The Firebee is a pilotless plane that can be controlled by ground, plane, or by a computer. It can fly following a preset course and then return.

Naval ships are the principal tool which a nation guards its seas. Ships are used to transport our troops to enemy coasts, to protect merchant shipping against enemy attack, to prevent the enemy from transporting their troops, and to attack shore and air targets. Naval ships are also used in blockades, for example to block an enemy from importing commodities necessary for his military by sea. In order to accomplish this, naval ships have been designed from earliest times to be faster and sturdier than merchant ships and to be capable of carrying offensive weapons.

Since the age of the Spanish Armada, ships have been used for military offence and defense. They were built strongly and carried cannons capable of destroying enemy ships. In todays age, the aircraft carrier and battleships are the rulers of the sea.

Aircraft carriers were first developed in WWII along with planes. Conventional naval guns were limited to a range of about 20 miles, but by World War II the aircraft carrier, a ship capable of launching, recovering, and storing aircraft that could themselves destroy ships had extended the battle range of surface fleets by as much as 300 miles. In doing so, it had a profound effect on naval warfare.

The airplane had just begun to go to sea on the eve of World War I. In November 1910 the American scout cruiser USS Birmingham launched the first airplane ever to take off from a ship, and two months later a plane was landed on an improvised flight deck built onto the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania. In 1913 a British cruiser, HMS Hermes, was converted to carry aircraft. In 1916, flying-off decks were built aboard several British ships, and by 1918 the Royal Navy had a converted passenger liner, HMS Argus, that could land and launch planes on a flight deck extending from bow to stern. The Argus was the world’s first true through-deck aircraft carrier and was thus the prototype for all later carriers. (Britannica).

Aircraft carriers carry a crew of 5500 men along with lots of state of the art technology. From tracking systems to propulsion, the whole ship is run with technology. The most interesting piece of technology is the propulsion system. Most carriers are powered by two nuclear reactors, which both propel the ship and power the systems of it. The propulsion plant for a nuclear powered ship is based upon the use of a reactor to provide heat to boil water for steam. The heat comes from the fissioning of the radioactive material within the reactor. Since the nuclear reactions produce radiation, thick shields are used to protect the crew. The nuclear propulsion plant uses a pressurized water reactor. The reactor makes steam, which then drive the propellers in a manner much like a steam engine.

Carriers also have many guidance and communication equipment aboard. Guidance systems are used to target their few onboard weapons and to track enemy as well as ally aircraft. Communications equipment is used to make contact with other ships and commanding officers, it is also used for 2500+ crewman telephones.

Unlike aircraft carriers, destroyers carry many offensive weapons and are more heavily armored. The destroyers are used for convoy escorts and attack ships. When used as escorts, the destroyers usually follow a V formation with the aircraft carriers in the middle. The heavy armor on the destroyers will block any attack on the carriers. Destroyers are also used as attack ships, when they are they usually fight along with 2 or 3 companion ships.

Destroyers usually have about 4 nuclear reactors so they can reach higher top speeds and to power their massive weaponry. Destroyers have the same communication and guidance systems as the carriers, but in higher numbers.

Since 1945 the destroyer’s dual antiaircraft-antisubmarine role has continued through the transition to guided missiles. A modern destroyer’s armament consists of surface-to-air missiles, antisubmarine torpedoes, antiship missiles, and one or two main guns of about four or five inches in calibre. Many destroyers carry submarine-hunting helicopters, and some carry cruise missiles. Modern destroyers range from 4,000 to 7,000 tons in displacement, are capable of speeds of more than 30 knots, and carry crews of about 300. (Britannica)
There arent many technological advances in the area of land vehicles, but there has in the equipment they carry. Tanks for instance have been pretty much the same since they were first built, despite heavier and more durable armor. Nowadays, tanks carry a range of sophisticated tools. They have guidance systems to track and shoot what they cannot actually see with their eyes, some tanks are even powered by nuclear reactors.

Guidance systems are used by all branches of the military and even by airlines and ordinary people. There are many uses for guidance systems; they can be used to track enemy and ally forces, aim weaponry, and as a positioning tool.

Tracking enemy forces is a big job and to do it, tracking systems are used to find the position of planes, ships, land vehicles, and even missiles. Radar, RAdio Detecting And Ranging, can be used to identify objects of various kinds, and at considerable distances. It operates by transmitting electromagnetic energy toward objects, or targets, and observing echoes returned from them. Radar can not only determine the presence, location, and velocity of such objects but can sometimes obtain their size and shape as well. What distinguishes radar from optical and infrared sensing devices is its ability to detect faraway objects under all weather conditions and to determine their range with precision. Radar underwent rapid development during the 1930s and ’40s to meet the needs of the military. It is still widely employed by the armed forces, and many advances in radar technology have in fact been subsidized by the military. At the same time, radar has found a growing number of important civilian functions, mostly air traffic control, remote sensing of the environment, aircraft and ship navigation, speed measurement for industrial applications and for law enforcement, space surveillance, and planetary observation.

Global Positioning is now used by consumer end products and in cars, it was also developed originally for the military use. The military needed a faster, more accurate way to position their fleets and soldiers.

A more recent procedure for global positioning relies on satellites, whose locations at any instant are known precisely because they are being continuously observed from a series of stations in all parts of the world. The coordinates of these stations were established by very large-scale triangulation based on a combination of radar observations of distances and measurements of the directions of special balloons or flashing satellites, obtained by photographing them at known instants of time against the background of the fixed stars.
The principal method of using satellites for accurate positioning is based on an application of the Doppler effect. A radio signal is transmitted at a steady frequency by the satellite, but a stationary observer detects a higher frequency as the satellite approaches and a lower one as it recedes. The speed of the frequency drop depends on the distance of the observer from the satellite’s track, so a determination of this speed provides a measure of that distance. At the instant of the satellite’s closest approach, the observed frequency is the same as that transmitted, so at that time the observer must be located somewhere along the line at right angles to the satellite’s track. Since this track over the Earth’s surface is accurately known at all times, these data define the observer’s position. (Britannica)
The cost of new technology is high, but worth it. The US Military spends billions of dollars developing and building the new advances in technology. The total global military expenses add up to about $750 billion dollars per year and rising by about 3.2% each year. The actual building of the equipment is not what costs so much, but the development and testing of the technology is where the money is spent.

For example the total cost for the development of the F-117A Stealth (first stealth aircraft) was just under two billion dollars but it only cost $43 million to make each plane, but each B-2 Stealth Bomber costs $437.4 million to build. The total US military expenses account for over 1/3 of world expenses at $270 billion per year.

Most money for military technological development comes from taxes, so since the US is the richest country in the world, we have more money to spend on the development on such equipment. The major countries accounted for 80% of the world total in 1999, the USA accounted for 36%, followed by Japan and France with 7% each and Germany and the UK with 5% and 4%, respectively. The next three in size; China, Italy and Russia-accounted for 3 % each of the world total. The rise in world military expenditure in 1999 is accounted for primarily by a few of these major spender countries, including the USA, France, Russia, China, Brazil and Turkey.

The military doesnt actually build the equipment, they contract the work out to major companies. The US military contracts with General Electric for most of its electrical needs. General Electric makes circuits and computers as well as jet engines and weaponry. Military aircraft are made by companies that also make commercial jetliners, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop, Boeing, and Lockheed are the main ones that the military uses.

Military technology has been effecting the rules of war for years and it will for years to come. In medieval times, there were many advances that today we would not think of as technology but they are. Chain mail armor was invented to prevent injuries from sword fighting, catapults were used to throw objects over castle walls and break down doors. The American Revolution had an impact on technology, the first guns were just being made, without this technology we would be nowhere today. In WWI machine guns were invented by the Germans, and then more finely tuned for WWII. Since WWII, there have been so many developments that they cant even be counted.

The future has a good outlook for new technology in the military. Many possibilities include the unmanned war, where all the fighting will be done by robots and computers. Other possibilities include, space travel, new fuels, vehicles, and more.

Military technology has greatly improved our world and has put ahead the strongest nations. Many other uses come from these developments far from what they were originally designed for. Technology has been the largest influence on the world since the beginning of time.Words
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