Predicting which weapons will impact the future of combat a very difficult task. Warfare is inherently fluid and dynamic. A system that might be a game-changer in conventional warfare between two global forces might be of absolutely no use in an asymmetrical scenario where guerilla tactics are being used in warfare. The world’s best 5th-generation stealth combat aircraft might just be the ‘next best thing’ in certain contexts, but it has tremendous speed and is not able to linger at a spot. This makes it totally unsuitable for detecting and targeting small units that operate within city limits.
In some situations, Special Forces carrying assault rifles and donning stealth armor might have a better fighting chance and will also be more economically viable. Making use of certain naturally-occurring metamaterials, some scientists have now been designing light-wave-bending materials that can reduce the visible and thermal signatures of a target to a great extent. The science behind this new-age technology is fairly straightforward.
The “adaptive camouflage” bends light around the person/object that dons it. In effect, it acts like an invisibility cloak (Harry Potter style, if we may say so) and Special Forces or soldiers can sneak and operate in enemy territory, undetected. Though it might not be fool-proof, it might still end up buying them the precious time they need to sneak-up on and attack the target. Enemy assassinations, sabotage, the list of possibilities is endless with this stealth/quantum cloak.
There are reports that a Canadian company has demonstrated this innovative material to 2 command groups in the United States military and 2 groups with the Canadian military and to the Federal counter-terrorism teams. If this technology can actually do what it claims it can, modern-day ground warfare will never be the same again.