Photo: US Army
Never noted for its frugality or its successes, the defence industry looked to the people who care about its products most when judging the Army’s 2010 Greatest Inventions.On August 23 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland a group of recent combat infantry soldiers were given a crop of new gear and told to chime in.
What they chose makes up the 10 greatest Army inventions from last year.
Improved weapons are here, of course, but other choices are less conventional: texted medical appointments and wearable batteries for 200 hours of power are just a couple.
Launched from the M203, M320, and the M79 grenade launchers, this round floods the battlefield with infrared light.
The infrared vastly enhances night vision capabilities in gear used by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, while being invisible to the naked eye.
One of the most effective ways for locating IEDs is sending out a motorised robot to scout a suspicious area.
The RG-31 tackles the problem of sending the robot out manually and exposing soldiers to fire. The belly of the vehicle has a robot elevator that allows soldiers to use the device without putting themselves in the open, while the cab is heavily fortified.
Called the 'green bullet' because it has a copper core instead of lead, the M855A1 is supposed to bring greater consistency and more damage to every shot.
Designed to fit the M16 and M4 Carbine used by soldiers in Afghanistan, the bullets 'wobble' less in flight and have a greater velocity than the M855 round it replaces.
Directed at hostile forces 'Green Eyes' makes it almost impossible to aim a weapon or drive a vehicle.
The unit can also be installed at checkpoints warning civilians away from areas where they might be at risk.
Designed to detect landmines the Husky Mark III can survive explosions, and be repaired in the field.
The Husky can find and disable IEDs on roads used by U.S. troops and is able to protect its driver from blasts as well as incoming weapons fire.
Almost four pounds lighter than the original M-240B the new L model has titanium components and costs about $9,200 each.
The M240 has been used by U.S. soldiers since the 1980s and has largely replaced the M60 machine gun of Rambo fame.
When a soldier is wounded badly enough to be discharged from service, managing medical appointments and scheduling can be a nightmare.
The Army's mCare Project puts an end to this by texting appointment times to patients' phones and allows providers to respond to questions online and via SMS.
The Mortar Fire Control System - Dismounted (MFCS-D) takes the time required to fire a 120mm mortar from eight minutes during the day and 12 minutes at night -- to two minutes any time of day.
Digital targeting allows troops greater accuracy and enables them to fire on an enemy before they have a chance to relocate.
Made by Supacat in the UK, the Jackal finds and destroys IEDs.
Despite delays and cost overruns the Jackal is ready to protect soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by finding and detonating roadside bombs.
Able to extend battery power up to 200 hours, the Soldier Power System is wearable and rechargeable.
The zinc-air batteries strap to the torso or the sides and allow troops to shed 16 pounds of weight over previous systems.
Extremely important considerations for today's gear-laden, electronic-dependent, ground soldier.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.