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Super Soldiers

He can see through walls, his helmet is video-connected, and his rifle has computer precision. We check out the science (and explosive power) behind the technology that’s making the future of the military into Halo come to life. See our slideshow of machine guns, thermal weapons sights, mobile robots and more super soldier gear

1. Enhanced Combat Helmet
Made from advanced plastics rather than Kevlar, the new ECH offers 35 percent more protection than current helmets.

2. NETT Warrior
This system is designed to provide vastly increased situational awareness on the battlefield, allowing combat leaders to track the locations and health of their teams, who are viewing tactical information via helmet-mounted computer screens.

3. Solar Photo-voltaic Threads
Photosensitive fibers woven into the soldier’s uniform that could convert solar radiation to electricity powering the Nett warrior system. Currently, the system runs on a chest-mounted battery pack.

4. XM25 Grenade Launcher
The XM25 Individual Airburst Weapon System (IAWS) is a computer-controlled, airburst grenade launcher, dubbed the Punisher. Several units are already in use in Afghanistan; the Army will field as many as possible in the next few years.

5. Interceptor Body Armor
The Army’s IBA is a lightweight, modular protective system that can stop bullets and fragments while providing easy maneuverability. It consists of an outer vest, ballistic plates, and attachable components for arms, groin, throat, and sides.

6. Knee and Elbow Pads
Lightweight and super-durable, the Army’s Kevlar KEPs provide dismounted soldiers with protection in case they find themselves on
their knees (get your mind out of the gutter).

7. ASEK Surival Knife System
Forged from carbon steel, with a five-inch blade, this Natick-lab-tested survival knife is equipped with a Plexiglas breaker, hammer, saw teeth, serrations, spear holes, lanyard hole, and insulated guard.

8. Beretta M9
The Army’s standard-issue 9 mm sidearm allows for the attachment of an Integrated Laser White Light Pointer.

9. Active Camoflage
Woven optoelectric threads that change the appearance of
the fabric to reflect changes in environment. Though still hypothetical at this stage, it would allow soldiers to blend right into the background, Predator-style.

10. Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment
A very fancy-sounding backpack, the MOLLE (rhymes with Polly) is equipped with modular patch attachments, a plastic 72 oz. hydration bladder (the tube is coming over the soldier’s left shoulder) and a Tactical Assault Panel to protect
the chest.

11. Generation II Helmet Sensor
The Gen II HS provides the wearer with analysis of explosions and any other potential source of head trauma.
Next: Who's developing which weapons--and for how much?

To read more about playing hide and seek with the one you want to kill, how to be battle-ready at the pop of a pill, and the future of military tech, pick up the latest issue of Maxim, on newsstands now.

See our slideshow of machine guns, thermal weapons sights, mobile robots and more super soldier gear

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