Holographic quantum technology and acoustic sniper sensors may sound like the stuff of science fiction films – but they are actually new defence technologies which could soon be destined for the battlefield.
They were just a few of the gadgets and technologies on show at the Future Soldier event, held today at London’s National Army Museum to coincide with National Science and Engineering Week (7-16 March).
The event demonstrated how UK defence firms and the Ministry of Defence are drawing on science and engineering to develop cutting edge equipment for the Armed Forces. Some technologies are already providing troops with a battle-winning edge on operations; others will need further development and some may be overtaken by new technologies before they make it to the field.
The event was opened by Baroness Ann Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, who said:
"All around us we can see how advances in science, engineering and technology affect our everyday lives. Defence is no exception. Members of the Armed Forces are increasingly interacting with ever more sophisticated technology as part of their job.
"There is already a huge difference between the personal equipment a British infantryman used in Kosovo back in 1999 and what they are using now in Afghanistan. We have come a long way – largely because we are working closely with the defence industry to exploit new technologies to protect and empower our people on the frontline. The threats they face are continually evolving and we have to continue to meet the challenge of keeping one step ahead."
The Future Soldier event is one of a number of events being held by the UK defence sector to mark National Science and Engineering Week.