While this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a bad thing, it also brings up potential scenarios where the common foreign and domestic adversary could finally reach eye-to-eye with the U.S. military in terms of technological prowess. To stay ahead of the game, DARPA has recently awarded nine different organizations Phase 1 contracts under their Squad X Core Technologies (SXCT) program, paving the way towards a future of supersoldiers.
“Our goal is to develop technologies that support a three-dimensional common operating picture leveraging input from integrated mobile sensors, as well as the ability to organically locate and identify friendly forces and threat locations in near real time.”
– Maj. Christopher Orlowski,
DARPA Program Manager
- Helios Remote Sensing Systems (Utica, N.Y.)
- Kitware (Clifton Park, N.Y.)
- Leidos (Huntsville, Ala., and San Diego, Calif.)
- Lockheed Martin Corporation (Cherry Hill, N.J., and Grand Prairie, Tex.)
- Raytheon Company (Tucson, Ariz.)
- Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (Woburn, Mass.)
- Six3 Systems, Inc. (Mclean, Va.)
- SoarTech (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
- SRI International (Menlo Park, Calif.)
Under the SXCT program, DARPA envisions future supersoldiers using advanced technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), to not only help them combat equally advanced adversaries all across the globe, but to subsequently combat against previous technological inadequacies that were commonly seen amongst U.S. troops. While advanced, the technologies that were available to the U.S. military were both physically and cognitively burdensome.
The research being pursued under the SXCT program are divided in four different areas: Precision Engagement; Non-Kinetic Engagement; Squad Sensing; and Squad Autonomy. Each area of research will help make future soldiers faster, stronger, and much more interconnected in terms of non-verbal communication.
Future supersoldiers are not only going to be using drones to surveil the skies, or exoskeleton suits to make them quicker and stronger warriors on the battlefield, but will equally be using even more advanced technologies such as AR and artificial intelligence (A.I.). Entire warzones will be augmented to each soldier’s preference so as to establish tactical superiority against their adversaries.
Using VR overlay displays, soldiers will be able to monitor several different designated areas at once, remain in constant communication with their allies, and be given real-time information of where their enemies are located, what weapons they’re using, and how best to approach them under the guidance of near-human-level A.I. systems. The establishment of supersoldiers shouldn’t just be seen as a race to combat future adversaries, but subsequently a race against time itself as advanced technologies continue to exponentially grow and are proliferated all across the globe.