BAE Systems has presented the fruits of its Future Protected Vehicle program (FPV) to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and it's an intiguing glimpse of the what we can expect to see in tomorrow's high-tech battlefield. With input from over 35 organizations, the FPV study is aimed at identifying "innovative technologies and concepts for short, medium and long term exploitation into future lightweight land platforms." Hundreds of new technologies were canvassed in the study and seven platform concept vehicles have been floated to showcase the most significant of these, including the use of electronic ink camouflage systems, microwave weapons, floating electro-magnetic armor and a type of mechanical "sweat" that reduces thermal signature.
The term Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) evokes images of Star Wars-style ray guns blasting aircraft from the skies and laser toting creatures from the far reaches of outer space, but there are also non-lethal forms of these weapons under development for present day military or non-military applications. Boeing has just received a USD$38 million contract to develop a high powered microwave (HPM) airborne demonstrator for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Counter-electronics High power microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP).