Technological developments are affecting every facet of soldiering

Technology and warfare have always been inextricably linked. Compare contemporary soldier and his-her gear to a World War II GI, and you'll think you're looking at something out of a science-fiction movie. Today's warriors wear body armor, carry personal GPS receivers, use light-enhancing scopes and goggles. But even these advances are becoming outdated as new systems are devised and implemented, giving better protection, capabilities, and communications than ever before.

Naturally, protection from injury is a huge concern. Where soldiers once went into battle, armored only with a steel helmet, today they carry up to 45 pounds of kevlar, ceramic, and steel plating. New materials can reduce that load, as can modular systems that can be customized for each mission, like the Future Soldier Vision recently introduced in the U.K. by the Ministry of Defense. The U.S. Army hopes to increase the efficiency of their soldiery with the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), an exoskeleton that alleviates some of the stress of heavy loads while monitoring for injury.

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