Tag Archives: Ground Vehicles

The Presidential SUV

This SUV is how the President and other important diplomats stay safe when they are traveling through hostile territory. A mini-gun pops out of the top of the vehicle filling the air with up to 4000 rounds per minute. The mini-gun on the GMC vehicle is located on a turret to allow for a 360 field of view. Check out the video of the presidential SUV below.

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The Future Battlefield – War in the Future

Future of War

Clicking the image above will provide you with a full size image

Many advanced military technologies are on the battlefield in the middle east protecting US and allied troops from harms way. The United States Military is moving to a more mobile fighting force with unmanned aerial vehicles and robots to deploy in dangerous tactical situations. The reconnaissances technologies of the US military and other advanced nations have the ability to plot out enemy positions to a T for unmanned vehicles and stealth aircraft to engage. The future of war will consist of literally thousands of robots and unmanned vehicles tracking and engaging dynamic enemy threats.

Here is a list of just a couple of the technologies changing the battlefield:

  1. Predator and MQ9 Reaper or Predator B
  2. SWORDS – miniature combat robot
  3. Firescout-unmanned aerial vehivle – helicopter
  4. Gladiator-unmanned land Vehicle with munitions
  5. Micr0 – UAV’s such as the Flybot
  6. X-47 – long endurance UAV for reconnaissances
  7. Big dog – Carry ammo and munitions to other Robots

If you think these technologies are incredible, look around for pictures and videos of the most advanced weapons systems in action.

TROPHY – Active Military Vehicle Defense

When armor just isn’t strong enough and munitions keep evolving such as the armor pier cing tandem rpg 27 (two shape charges), “active protection systems” are called upon. Currently in development for the Striker and the Israeli Merkava main battle tank is the TROPHY active protection system which promises to revolutionize military vehicle and armor defense. The U.S is not currently partaking in RAFAEL’s TROPHY weapon system as it has contracted a favorite , Raytheon, to build an equivalent system for its vehicles.

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TROPHY is being produced by RAPHAEL and maintains a 360 degree field of view with its radar. The TROPHY will pick up incoming threats using its radar and do some complicated physics and mathematics to find a bearing of the incoming threat. Once the threat is identified the TROPHY system calculates the best time and angle that it should fire its shotgun-like pellets which repel the incoming threat. The system is also capable of engaging multiple threats simultaneously from different directions.


TROPHY is designed to work against all incoming anti-tank missiles and Rocket propelled grenades. Also the ability to fire upon incoming threats on the move gives infantry vehicles and tanks equipped with the TROPHY system the ability to evade the enemy while under attack. Another advantage is that vehicles equipped with the TROPHY weapon system won’t need heavy armor installments that slow them down like explosive reactive armor. The Trophy system may not completely alleviate the need for reactive armor installments as the new “active protection system” is not capable of defending againsty land mines, artillery, ant-tank guns, or IED attacks.

Reactive Armor – Exploding Armor

Reactive armor is an incredible battlefield technology protecting our troops on the battlefield. Reactive armor shields a vehicle from incoming projectiles and is known for being most effective against shape charges and long rod penetrators. Multiple types of reactive armor are being used on tanks and other armored vehicles in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan today. Reactive armor has been used in vehicles since the 1980’s by the Russians and throughout Europe, although leaps and bounds are being made in this armor technology. The image below shows an “up-armored” M3A3 Bradley fighting vehicle fitted with reactive armor in a huge contract given to General Dynamics.Reactive Armor m3a3

Explosive Reactive Armor can only withstand one hit from a shape charge as the armor literally explodes upon impact. Explosive Reactive Armor isn’t safe to install in vehicles that will be deployed with infantry units. The amount of shrapnel discharged from an impact with explosive reactive armor is enough to kill any infantry nearby. Despite these shortcomings ERA is widely used in armor all over the world like the Russian kontakt 5 deployed with the T-80 and T-90 tanks. Kontakt 5 has improvements that help protect the Russian tanks from KE-penetrators and shape charges.

Non explosive Reactive armor (NERA) the other hand can withstand multiple hits as long as two charges don’t hit in the same location. When a penetrator rod impacts NERA the armor plate bends and bulges effectively increasing the thickness of the armor making it hard for the rod to penetrate the armor. Pound for pound Explosive Reactive armor packs more of a punch when it comes to protecting your vehicle although its drawbacks are evident allowing only 1 impact. NERA’s performance when engaging Kinetic energy threats is sub-par.

Electric Reactive Armor (NxRA) is an incredible new technology that is being developed. By using electric charges, this armor will be able to vaporize a penetrator rod or shape charge or turn it to plasma. This technology has not publicly been released on any operational vehicle although it sounds pretty amazing.

Weapon Systems such as the Javelin fire-and-forget missile can defeat most known types of reactive armor using a tandem warhead, meaning it contains two shape charges. One of the shape charges is meant to detonate the Armor while one uses its energy to penetrate the tank. Hellfire missiles and the CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon also contain similar technology to overcome these advances in armor.

If you want more information on reactive armor and its nemesis’, check out this very explanatory 7 minute video below.

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Chinese Military Weapons – Technology of the PLA

At Future Firepower we always keep the latest breaking news on the newest weaponry available to the United States Military and its allies. On top of following the technological advancements in weapons systems of the US, we also like to introduce the military capabilities of nations throughout the world. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has some very advanced weapons systems. Ballistic missiles and missile defense programs are paramount in Chinese military planning with the PLA carrying a number of advanced bombs and missiles. Everything from mobile artillery howitzers, to high-tech tanks such as the Type-99 and the lighter Type-96 as seen in the picture below can be found in the Chinese military.
type 96 china
On top of having an array of advanced ground vehicles, China also boasts an advanced naval force with large advanced submarines, and many worthy battleships but lacking aircraft carriers. The PLA also has a capable air-force, although it is nothing that could match the capabilities of NATO forces or the United States Military with the F-22 and many other reliable and proven fighters. The Jian-10, swept-wing fighter has been introduced by the Chinese air-force but the capabilities remain unclear.

There was speculation years back that the “star wars” program would spark a new weapons race and nothing could be more true as, once again, Russia, The US, and China are entering into a weapons space race. The United States militarization of space has caused uneasiness within China and Russia which has caused them to invest in their aerospace programs as well. One very frightening feat that China has been able to attain is the ability to destroy GPS and other military satellites owned by the US. China launched a vehicle into space intending to destroy an old weather satellite 500 miles in orbit and achieved their goal proving that they could indeed take out the ‘eyes’ of the United States military. The US military also admitted that China disabled a satellite while it orbited over China’s land mass using a directive energy weapon of some sort which produced a high power beam into the face of the satellite.

With China only spending 10% of what the United States does on military technology and expenditures, the PLA has some amazingly advanced technology. Some estimates say that Chinese military spending may spike to half that of the U.S in the foreseeable future. This would make the U.S government very uneasy.

Slideshow of Chine Military (PLA) weapons

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Currently there is a weapons embargo between the European Union and the US with China. The Federation of American Scientists, a liberal group long known for its opposition to nuclear weapons, has come out against lifting the EU ban on arms sales to China.”Indeed, troubling transfers of Chinese military and dual-use equipment are numerous,” Matt Schroeder of the Federation of American Scientists, wrote recently.

MTHEL – Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser – Future Military Missile Defense

Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser
Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC]


The Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) missile defense system is likely the most successful design for defeating high trajectory threats in theaters of operation. Under the constant threat from incoming projectiles, the nation of Israel designed this system using existing technologies; the main challenge being to incorporate them all together in a deployable package. The laser is a deuterium flouride beam, which operates on such a wavelength to deliver intense heat for up to 5 km. Upon detecting a launched threat, the system’s radar identifies and tracks the target, while the laser precisely lases the target to destruction. The weapon is really designed to defeat more primitive threats such as Katyusha and Qassam rockets typically used as terror weapons by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. However, it has been surmised that multiple MTHEL units could bring down nearly any aerial threat including jets and ballistic missiles. The US has recognized the incredible utility of this system, and the program has thus been undertaken by Northrop Grumman to achieve full scale development of this incredible creation.

This video displays the capabilities of the MTHEL, which can take down multiple incoming projectiles in a matter of seconds.
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Ground Based Radar – Military – TPQ-36(V)8 Firefinder HUMV

Ever wonder how the Military tracks and defends from air threats such as mortars, artillery, and other missiles?

Within seconds, the AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar system detects and backplots adversary weapons and provides pinpoint targeting information for the counterattack. The medium range Weapon Locating Radar in the Firefinder Family. The TPQ-36 automatically locates enemy medium range mortars, artillery and rocket launchers allowing pinpoint counter fire to be brought to bear. In use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and by nations worldwide.

The Firefinder developed by Northrop Grumman is a very technologically advanced land based radar system that can acquire multiple targets simultaneously and relay that information to other weapons systems and troops to react to the threat accordingly. 113 of these systems have been delivered to the US Army and Marine Corps between 1997 and 2005, and upgrades are constantly being worked on.

Firefinder Vehicle radar

The TPQ-36(V)8 Firefinder mobile ground based radar provides automatic, fast and accurate locations of artillery, mortars and rocket launchers. Firefinder handles simultaneous fire at multiple locations, detecting and reporting positions on the first round. Firefinder also supports rapid deployment missions, is C-130 transportable, and ground mobile on HMMWV vehicles.

According to Military and Aerospace Electronics: “Engineers at the Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC in Indianapolis are set to rebuild three AN/TPQ-37 and two AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar systems. Raytheon is doing the work under terms of a $13.7 million delivery order awarded Aug. 18 from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J. The contract number is DAAB07-00-D-H004.”

Stryker Armored Vehicle – Mobile Gun System

Manufacturer: General Dynamics [NYSE: GD]
Stryker Mobile Gun System
The latest production to roll out en masse from General Dynamic’s war factories is the Stryker Armored Vehicle. Since the Iraq War has evolved into the constant urban battle with the Muslim insurgency, America has since devised some innovations to armored vehicle design to increase the lethality and deployability of urban combat teams. These newer urban combat teams have been built around a doctrine described as the Brigade Combat Team, which aims to incorporate the latest in situational awareness electronics with increased firepower and protection in the urban environment. For example, the Stryker vehicle is digitally linked to all of its troops, so that they know where the armor and cover is, and can divert or flush enemies into an area where they can be blasted by the Stryker. There exist different variants of the Stryker, the most impressive being the Mobile Gun System variant, which is pictured above. The Mobile Gun System fires 105mm cannon that can fire either armor piercing rounds or anti-personnel rounds that can fragment shrapnel over large areas. Putting these capabilities into the hands of urban combat teams dramatically increases their effectiveness, not only through the obvious firepower advantage, but also by boosting morale. The cannon mount on the Stryker could be used to take out snipers easily by simply destroying the suspected spot completely. Likewise, ambushes or large groups of combatants could be easily dealt with by the shrapnel rounds of the 105 mm cannon. All in all, having the Stryker on the ground in any urban scenario instantly promotes success.

Check out this Stryker video!
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The British Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank – British innovation in armored vehicles tested in Iraq

British Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank
Manufacturer: BAE Systems Land and Armaments [LSE: BA.L]
Challenger 2
Photo Crown Copyright/MOD

The British Challenger 2 Main battle tank has several innovations unique to its design. One of the foremost innovations devised by the Brits is a type of armor known as Chobham armor, which is a layered matrix of steel and ceramics. In fact, incorporating layers of ceramic into steel has been a newer technique of strengthening steel, (the strongest knife blades are now layered steel and ceramics, because the ceramics provide an added measure of flexibility. The Chobham armor is known to perform especially well against HEAT (High explosive anti-tank) rounds. In one encounter in Iraq, one Challenger 2 was hit by 8 RPGs in close range and one MILAN anti-tank missile and managed to escape to be repaired. Another improvement currently being made to the Challenger 2 is the replacement of its 120 mm rifled cannon barrel with a smooth bore cannon, which will enable the Challenger to fire depleted uranium rounds among other more lethal ammunition developed by the US and Germany.


Weight: 62.5 tonnes
Length: 8.3 m
Width: 3.5 m (4.2 m with appliqué armour)
Height: 2.5 m
Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Drive System

  • Engine: Perkins CV12 diesel engine delivering 1,200 hp (895 kW).
  • Gearbox: David Brown TN54 epicyclical transmission (6 fwd, 2 rev).
  • Suspension: Second-generation Hydrogas.
  • Track: William Cook Defence Hydraulically Adjustable double-pin.
Maximum speed 37 mph, 59 km/h (road) 25 mph, 40 km/h (cross country)
Range 280 miles, 450 km (road) 156 miles, 250 km (cross country).

Check out this Challenger 2 tank video, this thing is a beast!

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Click here to see other main battle tanks