Advanced materials could make future combat systems invisible, says GlobalData

Advanced Materials, in particular metamaterial-artificial composites, have great potential to make military systems invisible because of their unusual properties and potential applications in concealment, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Advanced Materials in Aerospace and Defense-Thematic Research’, military systems in all areas of operation must contain an increasing variety of materials to meet complex and demanding requirements. New and advanced materials are being rapidly discovered and developed for future applications.

Captain Nurettin Sevi, Turkish Navy, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Advanced materials provide significant benefits to military capabilities such as increased functionality, improved survivability, improved ease of maintenance and lower life cycle cost. Demand is being driven by a constant desire to seek lighter, stronger, and more durable structures with cost-effectivity.

“Stealth technology has been applied to a wide range of military systems since the US Air Force procured the first F-117 stealth fighter in the 1990s. Modern combat platforms such as the F-35 Lightning II, B-2 stealth bomber, Low-Observable UAV Testbed (LOUT), Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie, Chinese J-31, Russian Su-57, Zumwalt class destroyers, and Visby class corvettes all have stealth features.”

Along with stealth technology’s proliferation, detection systems are also getting more capable with advanced anti-stealth features. This cat and mouse game between stealth and detection technologies are anticipated to intensify over the next decade.

Sevi continues: “Metamaterials’ promising features for invisibility would have a determining role to play in this. Besides, they have the potential to provide breakthrough advances in a wide range of applications, from radical advances in communication, and display to high-performance noise reduction and ultralight structural materials.”

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