Well, not quite yet. In fact, probably never. But at least they’re thinking about it. It’s part of the military’s long-term “Predator-ization” strategy, in which all U.S. troops will eventually be outfitted with gear equal to or exceeding the wicked awesomeness of Predator’s own arsenal. Step one: the invisibility cloak.
“Asymmetric, or ‘one-way,’ materials will support basic unit operations such as raids, cordon and search activities, snap checkpoints, and fire fights,” according to military budget documents. “Friendly forces will be able to see through [one of these new materials] and shoot through it, but hostile forces will not.” Such shields will also have “the ability to ‘self-heal’ if necessary. The materials must be lightweight, respond instantly, and be easy to deploy and retract in confined spaces.”
During the two hours a day when it’s not running Hitler programming, the History Channel is constantly running shows about how Star Trek inspired so much modern technology. Nice to see that the paradigm has shifted to something slightly less, shall we say, candy ass.
Step two, incidentally, is the shoulder-mounted laser cannon. Circa 2030, we’ll finally reach step three: small, tactical nuclear weapons integrated into the forearm armor. The trick will be figuring out how to make them destructive enough that you can’t survive the blast simply by running 100 yards and diving under a bush.
If you haven’t seen the movie, just ignore that last paragraph and, well, pretty much this whole post.