Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indian Defence Ministry 'Technology Perspective and Capability Road Map for 2010' Details Nanotechnology and Other Future Defense Concepts

The Indian Defence Ministry in its paper called 'Technology Perspective and Capability Road Map for 2010' details how nanotechnology and other advanced technologies can be used by its Army for the future defense of India.  

The applications for its Army in the fields of nanotechnology are as follows:

Counter Terrorism Tasks. Possible applications are unobtrusive micro audio bugs and video recording devices with high capacity data storage that could be planted at likely meeting places of terrorists, over ground agents and sympathizers. The unattended micro ground or air sensors can be placed in advance and remotely activated on required basis and micro sized energy devices can power the unattended sensors / audio / video devices and a host of other applications in remote areas or places which require extremely light weight power sources like light weight man portable radars, missiles, UAVs and other systems.

Dynamic Camouflage. Fabric of uniform would act as a screen for displaying terrain specific picture. Fabric would also have switch able surfaces (E.g. cotton and polyester) for comfort and bio – chemical gas detectors for chemical agent warning.

Other nano applications could include extremely rugged and safe arming and triggering mechanism for appropriate weapon systems, solid lubricants for weapon systems at high altitude areas.

The Road Map also details how biotechnology might be used. Some of the biotechnology applications for the Indian Army are as follows:

The bio-technological R&D could be extended to bio friendly / green developments i.e. the development of biodegradable ammunition which causes minimum damage to the environment.

Lighter food and fuel for carriage by individual combatants.

Bio production mechanisms to enable soldiers to generate food, fuel and materials from raw materials in the field, allowing for extended operation in remote areas.

Non-lethal weapons
The report also contemplates non-lethal weapons. Sub-lethal or disabling military technology is particularly suitable in an urban or complex environment. Some of the important areas of research in this field having applications for the Army are:

Stun Grenades. Low impact grenades which can stun or immobilize adversaries.

Optical Weapons. Optical munitions to cripple sensors and dazzle, if not blind, soldiers.

Acoustic Weapons. Weapons that emit sonic frequencies to cause such sensations as disorientation, debilitating dizziness and motion sickness or nausea, also generate vibrations of body organs resulting in extreme pain or seizures.

Robotic applications
According to the Road Map robots can be used to assist troops in combat for tasks such as surveillance, reconnaissance, anti mine and anti IED role, urban area combat, casualty extraction etc.

Robotic equipment can be used to provide precision targeting support, carriage of ammunition and accuracy. Camera equipped and shock-resistant platforms to fire the guns remotely are possible applications.

Robotic vehicles equipped with cameras and weapons can be used to perform tasks such as limited / spot surveillance and reconnaissance etc.

Robotic Military Vehicles: These vehicles are required for a variety of high risk jobs such as mine / IED clearance, obstacle breaching and route opening. Man portable, light weight robotic systems would be required for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions for sub-terrain/ urban operations. Robotic vehicles are also needed for mine detection/clearing, obstacles breaching, clearing wire obstacles, placing explosives, tactical deception, direct fire and communication relay.

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