The conflict in Ukraine is elevating new military technologies, like drones, lasers, and anti-radiation weapons.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has demolished the expectations of military experts worldwide. Some staples of war, like tanks, fighter jets, and howitzers, have proven surprisingly vulnerable over the course of the conflict, while rocket artillery, drones, and anti-tank weapons have punched above their weight. Others, like lasers that could protect cities and weapons that home in on radio signals, are urgently needed, but are yet to be developed.
War supercharges innovation; the life-and-death struggle between nations pushes participants to adopt new technologies to enable fresh tactics and strategies. Battlefield experience rapidly sorts out what works and what does not—the former rapidly adopted, and the latter just as eagerly discarded. The invasion of Ukraine is no exception. Here are five weapons you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the near future as a result.
Russia’s war has involved both “dumb” unguided weapons and “smart” precision-guided weapons, in the form of mortars, howitzers, multiple-launch rocket systems, and land-attack cruise missiles. Russia expends up to 60,000 artillery shells and rockets a day, raining destruction down on both military and civilian targets. Moscow has used these weapons on both military and civilian targets—and the latter is a clear war crime under international law.