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A wide array of futuristic military technologies is already used by the US Marines. These include machine-gun-toting robots that charge up the beaches as advance assault, as well as speedboats that instantly transformed into small stealthy submarines diving beneath the surface to avoid detection.

Recently, the Navy and Marine Corps have been quietly testing about 50 new innovative technologies out at Camp Pendleton, at the Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2017, in California.

The exercise is investigating how the military can leverage the latest technological advances for ship-to-the-shore, or the space between the Naval ship and the beach where they could potentially land.

According to, sailors and Marines have been experimenting with the technology and evaluating the wide range of sea, air and land innovations in a variety of realistic scenarios.

Among the new technologies are amphibious vehicles, drone-like quadcopters and potentially weapon-wielding ground robots.

“Storming the beaches” has changed a lot since it was done in Normandy, France during World War 2. Adversaries now possess technology that makes it difficult – if not impossible – to surprise them with a large-scale amphibious invasion. By using the newest advanced technology, it can help Marines to mount an aggressive beach invasion – and do it in a way that significantly reduces the risk to the lives of Marines compared to times past.

In this exercise, the Marines have been integrating the tech, such as robots, to explore how they can provide advantages in future wars.  If robots are deployed to go ashore first, it could save Marine lives. Drones can be assigned scout type roles collecting data, conducting surveillance and doing reconnaissance.

But new autonomous fighting machines, like the machine-gun toting MUTT robot, could also provide decisive advantages. General Dynamics’ Multi-Utility Tactical Transports (MUTTs) are smart, ATV-sized robots mounted with machine guns that can charge up a beach and drive themselves, while helping dismount small units. Surf, sand and steep inclines are not going to stop the water-friendly MUTTs. The robot can be mounted with a range of different weapons, including machine guns and 60mm mortars. The MUTT can carry heavy weapons that provide even more serious firepower.

The hybrid Fathom, made by Reynolds Marion, is a speedboat that transforms into a submarine could potentially be used for scouting and surveillance. It can deploy from a beach or a dock and reach cruising speeds of 38 mph. To evade enemy detection, it could dive beneath the surface. Able to recharge dive air and batteries, the vehicle can dive repeatedly. It is designed to provide protection from pressure changes.

Such technologies, as well as new capabilities for ground and air forces, will be the focus of the forthcoming Future Forces Conference and Exhibition organized by iHLS. The event will take place on May 25th, 2017 at the Lago Conference Center in Rishon LeZion.

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