3 comments on “Infantry Weapons of the Future: Starship Troopers and Beyond: Part 4

  1. The idea of powered armor is interesting but I always have problems with it. First, as usually described, these systems are heavy, complicated, and have immense firepower. The logistic tail would be pretty heavy. The ammunition would be formidable to supply and you would need a staff of armorers and mechanics. I always thought that a better way would be to improve the soldier. When I went to Greenfield village in Dearborn they have homes and furniture from the 1880s. What is very interesting is how small they were in 1880. Men were 5’4″ about 130 lbs. Today, mean are five inches taller and 45 lbs heavier. Why not make the soldier bigger and stronger. Have them wear lighter armor and better assualt rifles. Already US soldiers carry 100 lbs. Maybe with drugs, steroids, etc. we have soldiers that can carry 200 lbs of armor and weapons? That seems a lot more logistically possible. So, could 1000 of these superior physical soldiers with better small arms defeat say 30 soldiers in much more sophisticated armor?

    • Excellent point for the near future. Not saying that genetically engineered or even cyborg soldiers couldn’t be formidible. However, in the far future, which is what I am talking about here, I think powered armor will be the way to go, mostly because soldiers wearing a light armor are not going to have the survivability of heavy armor. Hard radiation could be a big killer of lightly armored troops, but, as said in the article, even a near miss by a heavy particle beam, or what was called a flesh wound, could be deadly. In my novels the suits of powered armor prety much perform their own maintanance through the use of nanotech, which is something we don’t have now, at least not as envisioned by most scifi writers. As far as ammo, for lasers you would just need energy, for particle beams energy and proton packs, and for projectile weapons jujst the projectiles and the energy. Today energy would be a formidable obstacle, as ww really don’t have any batteries up to the task. As far as the odds, yeah, a thousand engineered soldiers probably could defeat thirty in powered armor, if it was just a stand up fight with no support. With nukes or kinetic weapons coming down, the unarmored or lightly armored soldiers might take heavy casualties before ever coming to grips with the soldiers in powered armor.

  2. Methinks a superbly trained soldier is one of the most expensive items you can invest on, and it would make sense to protect them while increasing their lethality and effectiveness. Despite how expensive powered suits are, you can always make a lot of them if you have to. Not so with soldiers. You have to carefully select them, train them, etc. It takes time to train them; even more so if you want to have experienced veterans. Hence I agree with powered battle armor.

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