With the advancement in technology, there are many ways in which technology have been applied in the military. The success of any war is dependent on the advancement of the tools and weaponry that has been applied and also dependent on the technology that has been applied. Information technology has infiltrated in the military and has been a contributing factor in the enhancement of technology that has been used. The weapons and the strategies for undertaking mass destruction are now dependent on information technology. This is evident in the way weapons of mass destruction make use of technology in order to be used in war. With information technology, it is now possible to combat these weapons without physical presence in the field. The weaponry that are used are also becoming smaller and smaller because of the use of information technology. There are also networks that have been seen to boost intelligence systems. This is one area where information technology has been widely used. This paper will analyze the role that technology has been seen to play in the military. It will focus on the various technologies that have been introduced to enhance the fighting capability of the military. It will look at these technologies from the past, the present and the future applications of technologies.
Numerous facts show that there is a new revolution in military technology in which information technology is used as a central organ for designing naval battleships. The technology provides unparalleled range of applications for development of new weaponry. Information technology has played a significant role in shaping the way in which war is fought since the First World War. Military invasions in the 21st century will revolve around the use of information technology for political and military goals.
The ability to showcase and employ destructive weapons becomes a determining factor for the success of many wars. Considering the improved technological advancements since the Vietnam War, many reasons have emerged as to the illegality of weapon deployment. Many countries have however, adopted the Mutually Assured Destruction to keep them, from going to war. A country’s ability to sustain a war is dependent on the advancement of its weapons rather than technical capabilities. An advanced weaponized technology is arguably in parallel with industrial, medical and social advancements. Weapons meant for mass destruction could be countered by similar weapons as a result of industrial advancements.
Earlier in the 1800s, naval ships were basic in design. Iron-clad hulls were developed to prevent against hostile fires. In the course of this century, segregation of the hull into compartments served to improve survival and stability. The ramming techniques lead to the development of gunnery as a way of naval combat. Subsequent improvements in the gun followed with decreased caliber, design and operation. The ships primarily used coal-fire for locomotion and it was thus inefficient since it required logistic resupply ports. This development led to the formation of mobile supply bases to provide logistic support.
In 1900s, the steam propulsion came into effect, and the armor was increased together with the naval guns. Coal was replaced with oil. Threats subsequently increase prompting for the emergence of different vessels with different functions. Small and large destroyers were developed and integrated into the body of the ships. Guns became the centerpiece of the naval ship with the introduction of the “crossing the T” introduced.
Future threats coupled with emerging technologies and new concepts of operations shaping the way the Navy and the Marine Corps are operating. During the First World War, technological advancements had led to the production of more efficient weapons capable of killing the enemy at a distance. This included tanks, machine guns and lethal gasses. Lethal gases such as mustard gases used in the First World War resulted in a large number of casualties. They were launched from naval ships situated distance away from the enemy lines. However, the chemical warfare did not prove significant for each warring side and was abandoned. It received widespread use in 1915 and was slightly introduced in 1917 after which it did not surface again.
Other technologies developed in this time proved to define fighting. The practical sub-marines and long range artillery saw a widespread use in the European style combat, in the WW1. The impact of the aforementioned technologies such as the submarine in the WW1 resulted in revolutionary new style fighting. This set of artillery had been previously employed in a number of smaller wars, but, the WW1 proved a testing field for the new ideas. It is these technologies that resulted in the mass slaughter of the WW1 as prevailing military theory has failed to reconsider the impacts of the new technology. The WW1 did not benefit much due to the introduction of new technologies since it was a first time use for a majority of them. As a result, it was integrated into the existing European-style mass combat thereby defining the radical style in the WW1.
The advent into the World War II heightened the radical developments witnessed in the WWI. New developments in size, structure, war-fighting tactics and force structure were substantially altered by technological breakthroughs in sensors, weaponry and aviation at sea. Future developments saw the commissioning of aircraft carriers from 1927. Aircraft carriers replaced the battleships because of its ability to attack damage and destroy far away targets. In addition, the aircraft carriers could accurately conduct attacks afloat or off-shore at considerable distances using location tracing systems. As a result, the carrier became the target of attacks and required a way of protecting itself. This might have led to the creation of successive layers of defense. The development of the Soviet cruise missiles, for example, resulted in the alignment of the naval war. Development of the submarines as offensive striking platforms was largely adopted by all the Navy forces. The significance of the aircraft carrier had diminished as a result of its vulnerability to missile attacks. The German army had vast submarine power and dominated both wars. Likewise, the United States enjoyed exceptional success due to the submarine warfare against the Japanese. The production of nuclear powered submarines gave the navy unprecedented breakthrough since the inefficient of diesel power had been eradicated. The development of mines was, however, to become a serious setback for all marine ships and water-borne equipments. The mines were lethal in effect, and the increased technological improvements meant that future mines would be increasingly lethal.
The emergence of the atomic bomb also spelled the introduction of citadel air-tight and salt-water washroom systems mechanisms in ships. The system improved the defense against the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Tactical data networks were build combined with improved communications and better command.
The face of the changing technology is changing people and their environment. It is in doing so that computer technology is transforming Navy and other sectors in a faster and a more thoroughly manner than expected by even the most astute observers. Information technology is making it easy to gather and analyze information and distribute in a far quicker manner than before. More precise and lethal weapons with a decreased requirement of on-hand ammunition have been manufactured. Improved and advanced maneuverability, speed, guidance and range techniques have been incorporated into weapons to eliminate the need for quality optimization in launching platforms such as war ships. The use of data distribution systems, expert systems and redundant communications has made it possible to attain a decentralized, quicker and better combat decision making strategies.
Today Navy is designed to perform punctual and sustained combat at sea. It must display the capability to carry out joint, amphibious operation and strategic nuclear warfare as well as give strategic seas lift forces.
The Navy has advanced the development of defense mechanism through information technology. For instance weapons of mass destruction have considerably been reduced and better mechanisms to combat such weapons have been developed. The distribution and dispersal of combat power reduced Navy’s dependence on foreign bases as point of operation and strategy. The military asserts are also decentralized since they are ultimately tempting targets for weapons of mass destruction. Since most naval weapons are a result of military technology in the field of computing and signal processing, which are centrally focused on software rather than hardware, the possibility of creating agile and responsive forces is real. The challenge is, however, shifted on the speed with which the enemy is willing to grasp and utilize this technology.
New threats are emerging putting military establishments at crossroads in terms of technology and operations. In response to these real and potential threats, the naval colleges are adopting the decentralized mechanisms and breaking away from traditional modes of operations. Military forces and equipment are distributed in small units with loose command and action relationships. A complicated combination of weapons, sensors and networks linked together are wielded by smaller action personnel groups with decision making capabilities. The U. S Navy, for example, is transforming the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class Naval combats with Littoral Combat Ships. This has been motivated by the realization of future threats that are spawning in regions with shallow seas. The new ships can operate in near-shore regions and rivers. Likewise, the asymmetric threats such as the coastal marines, quite diesel sub marines and global piracy perpetuated by terrorist on small fast moving attacks boats has prompted a new naval operation design strategy. In a Sessional paper, the U. S defense secretary cited increased need for Navy ships that can act as low- end gap fillers and operate in the midst of missile armed enemy vessels. These calls are directed at procuring and producing versatile and stealthy ships that can allow system, electronics and weapons upgrade.
The United States has been on the front in promoting improved weaponry in the Navy. Smaller steps are taken to come up with functional weapons. Although huge investments are required in the fields of research and technology, the results are rewarding. Unmanned technology has proved a technological breakthrough in the Army and the Navy. The personnel curve is being increasingly reduced by this technology. For instance, the UUV would simplify both expenditure of the Navy and fatalities. In spite of the operational experience challenges, it proves beneficial.
The speed of technological innovations is arguably phenomenal with miniaturization on focus. Denmark’s Standard Flex 300 Corvettes is producing a new range of swappable ship modules that are technology based and cost related. The technology based module is through a spiral development focused on rapid installations of new equipments that improve the ships capabilities in response to the magnitude of a threat. The cost-related dimension argues that spiral upgrades encourage frequent upgrades in the future without much alteration to the whole system. All this anticipates the pace of technology change and moves towards modernizing potential warships and the Navy in general to avoid obsolescence
Modern day Navy operations are broken down into surface warfare, submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, mine, strike and distinct operations. The reintroduction of battleships has made it possible to have surface striking without dependence on carriers. The increasing range and accuracy attained through global positioning and other related technologies have been the primary motivation for surface striking.
The ultimate goal of the US Navy has been utilization of technology to analyze, organize and prepare for uncertain “hybrid warfare of the future”. These words were echoed by noting that the Navy’s ability to successfully carry out missions depended on the implementation of the best and fast technology. The advancement of technology has been continuous and straight forward, since the launch of the eight-inch –gun cruiser Boston and Canterra all the way through Barbero and Tunny until the recent DDG 1000 series. The current DDG 1000 series are more designed to test new technologies that were previously experimented on older ships. By so doing, naval vessels have adopted a technology incubator platform that is beneficial towards achieving Navy after Next objectives.
The USS Zumwalt offers the best up to date systems, reduced radar signatures and state of the art attack capabilities. With the ability to produce 78 mega watts of electricity, and a 155mm deck guns and electromagnetic rail gun, it is certainly the most proficient naval vessel in the modern times. The manning is reduced by half as more work is delegated to computers than human beings. The ZUMWALT class destroyer DDG 1000 has been given the “Navy after Next” tag due to its massive integration with technological advancements. The new features introduced include an Integrated Power System, MK 57 Peripheral Vertical Launching system and an electromagnetic rail gun. In addition, it has a SPY-3 Multi Function Radar. In summary, the ship will deter impending threats in the high seas and on the surface.
Future Naval ships are expected carry the same modern day equipments but only on a reduced size. Technology advancement is influencing the navy’s capabilities, combat arrangement and tactics. Nuclear energy is propelling all sub-marines. Ships are now controlled by microprocessor technology while small, silent, and undetectable submarines capable of firing cruise missiles over long ranges are manufactured. Furthermore, laser technology and particle beam concepts are considered for future weaponry.
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