Over Hill, over Dale...

Tomorrow's weapons are being designed today

The scene is a future battlefield. On the ground, driverless tanks advance and fire with deadly accuracy, while insect-like vehicles scurry across all but impassable terrain. Overhead, pilots guide their aircraft by talking aloud in the cockpit and aim missiles with the movement of their eyes. Higher still, orbiting jets blast satellites back to earth. All this is surveyed from computer consoles by commanders who refine their strategies and issue new orders as the fighting rages.

While the ability to wage such high-tech combat will remain a dream, or nightmare, for years to come, it is very much a gleam in...

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