Developing military technologies are often shrouded in secrecy until they became fully integrated and utilized in their role they were intended. Some technology, even after implementation, is withheld from the public view for as long as possible.
With the advent of technology, social media, and mass communications, it has become increasingly difficult to keep advancing military technology out of the public eye. This video below follows some of the top-secret military weapons that have been rumored or confirmed in development in recent years.
Directed Energy Weapons – Laser Weapons System
Various different laser weapons have been in development for years. These weapon systems don’t operate in the way movies often depict—where they evaporate the target they are being used against. Instead, high-energy lasers like the U.S. Navy’s LaWS are used to intercept incoming missiles. The weapons fry the electronics of incoming missiles and destabilize them to the point where they can no longer be used in the manner they were intended.
Long Range Acoustic Device
These systems use high-pitch audio waves to temporarily incapacitate their targets. This is a non-kinetic way to disperses a crowd or make an attacker think twice about continuing their current course of action. These systems are extremely difficult to detect and are not noticeable to the human ear due to the frequency in which they are employed. While long-range acoustic devices can be used to communicate information over large distances and noisy settings, such as protests and riots, they may also be able to cause damage to the human body with deafening sound and pressure.
Advanced fighter bombers like the U.S. Air Force’s F-117 Nighthawk have been designed with a series of stealth technologies that make them difficult to detect by enemy anti-air defense systems. The radar absorbing skin absorbs the incoming radar waves and only returns a small signature, which is difficult to distinguish between a passing by bird or an extremely dangerous stealth bomber. As technology advances, these stealth technologies continue to become more and more difficult to defend against. While the F-117 has been slowly phased out of service, a new stealth aircraft known as the TR-3B has also been rumored as in-development.
Although not specifically a weapon, various countries have attempted to develop capacities to control the minds of individuals. Mind control is more of a scientific experiment than it is a military weapon, as no modern-day military has advertised the ability to control another human being with technology. Deception and spycraft has come the closest to convincing someone to do something they otherwise would normally not—or from blackmail.
MAHEM – Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition
The Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition, or MAHEM, is one type of missile warhead that has been envisioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The MAHEM warhead concept entails using electromagnetic fields to propel an explosive munition, rather than an explosive charge. The warhead would potentially be more accurate, safer, and more lethal against an intended target.
Heart Attack Guns
The CIA was known to have developed a dart gun during the Cold War that shoots extremely small darts, often undetectable, that were filled with shellfish toxin. Once deployed, this toxin would be extremely deadly and cause the target to almost immediately suffer from heart attack-like symptoms. The ability to induce heart-attack symptoms in a target could prove a useful assassin weapon as it would leave the impression that there was no foul play involved and that the target simply died from natural causes.
These types of weapons are outlawed by international law, but some believe that countries have manufactured biological weapons in secret, such as China in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs would take place outside the public eye and would enable a country to either employ these toxins as the attacker or have remedies and cures ready to deploy in the event of an outbreak by another hostile nation.
One weapon concept that has been envisioned entails using a space satellite to drop metal rods back down to earth, using gravity to devastating effect. The idea of using metal rods dropped from space could be used to cause massive damage without the radioactive fallout typical of a nuclear weapon. The U.S. confirmed it considered this concept of kinetic bombardment under the name “Project Thor.” According to the New York Times, Jerry Pournelle, a science-fiction writer and space-weapons expert, conceived Project Thor while working for Boeing in the 1950s.
Although popular in science fiction, many ideas for new weapons are purely speculative and a long way from becoming reality, while developments on other advanced ideas may remain closely guarded secrets.