Guns, guns, guns

By Skyler Frink

Posted by Skyler Frink

The musket revolutionized the battlefield when it was unveiled. The rifled barrel, which allowed muskets to fire with some degree of accuracy, also altered the battles of the future. After the rifled barrel it was repeating weapons, which could be fired more than once before reloading, that shaped the wars of the day. As warfare carried on, so did the technology behind the weapons that soldiers carried onto the battlefield. Why is it, then, that new guns seem to have stopped being released?

Is it that we have reached the pinnacle of technology with our guns? Have we run out of ways to fire more accurately, with more power or at greater distances?

I don't think so.

The lack of new guns represents a change in how war is fought. As surely as tanks made cavalry obsolete, placing men and women on the front lines is becoming less and less necessary thanks to modern advancements in technology.

No longer do we need to place soldiers directly in harm's way to secure a building. Rather than risk attack, an unmanned vehicle can be tossed into the room to acquire intelligence. Instead of sending soldiers on reconnaissance missions, we can take pictures with satellites or send an unmanned aerial vehicle to survey the area. Rifles are only useful when you have people who will be engaging the enemy directly, and technology is making it so direct contact is no longer a necessity.

On the ever-changing battlefields of today it's only a matter of time before infantry are not required to secure an area or win a battle. As the dangerous jobs are slowly pushed into the realm of unmanned vehicles, we will eventually see the dangers of direct combat be relegated to similar devices.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
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