30 of the Most Powerful Military Innovations in History

The U.S. spends about half of its annual budget on defense, an equation that has resulted in some of the most innovated inventions coming from the military sector. 

Military innovation isn't an American or new phenomenon, however, some of the greatest advances in human history have been a result of our species figuring out more efficient ways of killing each other.

Digital photography, virtual reality, the Deep Web and the internet itself are just some of the everyday technologies that were born from military research.

Just keep in mind that not all of those advancements make for valuable military collectibles:

With that said, here are 30 of history's most innovative military innovations:

30. Chariots
30. Chariots
Chariot technology helped Egypt become a super power in ancient times.

Horse drawn carriages were used to transport people and supplies to archers. The ancient Egyptians, Syrians and Persians, among others, all utilized superior chariot technology to steamroll their opponents.

29. Gunpowder
29. Gunpowder
Gun powder is the earliest known chemical explosive.

Gunpowder was invented in 9th century China and is used in everything from firearms to rockets to fireworks. Gunpowder is also used in quarrying, mining and road building.

28. Internal Combustion Engine
28. Internal Combustion Engine
The internal combustion engine was a military innovation.

Internal combustion is literally the engine that drives the military to this day.

27. Walkie Taklie
27. Walkie Taklie
Walkie Talkie's were developed as a result of government military funding.

Walkie talkies were the result of a 1940 contract the U.S. government gave to Motorola to produce the SCR-300, a portable two-way radio carried on a soldier's back, which is where the moniker 'walkie talkie' came from.

26. Radar
26. Radar
The ability to see and be seen helped transform modern warfare.

Britain built the first radar system in 1935, four years after a scientific paper detailed how you could theoretically map a distant object by bouncing radio waves off of it.

25. Nuclear Technology
25. Nuclear Technology
Nuclear technology has changed the world, possibly for the worse.

Nuclear technology has been used in warfare just twice in history. The U.S. dropped bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. About 300,000 civilian deaths later it was decided that the bomb should probably never be used again.

24. GPS
24. GPS
GPS relies on satellites to show location with pinpoint accuracy.

The Global Positioning System, or GPS for short, is a military innovation that civilians use every day. The system relies on satellites set up by the Department of Defense in the early '90s

23. Satellite
23. Satellite
Satellites have military as well as scientific and civilian uses.

An artificial satellite is defined as any man made object that has been intentionally placed into orbit around the earth. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the world's first such satellite.

22. Night Vision
22. Night Vision
Seeing at night is invaluable in warfare.

Hungarian physicist Kálmán Tihanyi invented the first infrared-sensitive electronic camera for the U.K. military to help antiaircraft operations.

21. Satellite Navigation
21. Satellite Navigation

Coordination is paramount for military success and satellite navigation allows militaries to make sure their forces are in sync no matter where they are around the globe.

20. Submarines
20. Submarines
German's introduced submarine warfare during WW1.

Germany pioneered submarine technology ahead of World War 1 and used their U boats to dominate naval warfare during the Great War. The sinking of the Lusitania by a German U boat famously helped bring the U.S. into the European conflict.

19. Tomahawk Missiles
19. Tomahawk Missiles
Tomahawk missiles are designed to fly long-range at low altitudes.

Tomahawk Missiles are perfect for attacking surface targets due to their ability to fly long-range and at low altitudes. The missiles, which were first used operationally during Operation Desert Storm, use GPS tracking for pinpoint accuracy.

18. Robotic Mule
18. Robotic Mule
Robotic Mules look like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.

Boston Dynamics worked closely with DARPA to develop these robotic animals to carry heavy packs, which should allow more mobility for infantry units.

17. Microwave Ray Gun
17. Microwave Ray Gun
Focused microwaves can mess with your head.

Focused microwaves can implant sounds directly into a person's head, bypassing the eardrums and making ear plugs a useless defense against the new age weapon.

16. Space-Based Laser
16. Space-Based Laser
Straight out of Star Wars, space-based lasers.

Currently, there are international agreements that ban the militarization of space. However, scientists are developing space-based laser, just in case.

15. Flybot
15. Flybot
These mechanical flies are about the size of dragon flies.

Flybots are tiny surveillance robots that are hard to detect because...they look like flies.

14. Cargo Pants
14. Cargo Pants
Cargo pants are falling out of fashion in some circles, but the pockets offer military utility.

There has been a recent push back against men wearing cargo shorts, but the number of pockets the simple article of clothing features makes the pants ideal for the man or military on the go. 

13. Duct Tape
13. Duct Tape
Duct tape is a military invention.

Duct tape was in invented in 1942 as a way for military personnel to seal ammunition cases so that water could not seep in.

12. Microwave Heat
12. Microwave Heat
Microwave heat comes from military innovation.

Microwave heat was discovered by military officials who noticed that radio signals generated heat.

11. Bayonet
11. Bayonet
Bayonets are knives attached to guns.

How do you make a gun deadlier? Add a knife to the end of it for close combat

10. Barbed Wire
10. Barbed Wire
Barbed wire help slow down infantry advances during WWq

Barbed wire has one use, impeding movement. That one use has wide range utility and everyone from farmers to military personnel use it every day.

9. Locomotives
9. Locomotives
Locomotives carry materials to and from the battlefield.

Locomotives weren't made specifically for military use, but their utility on the battle field is unquestionable. Being able to supply your army is a must if you want to win a war. Locomotives remain one of the best ways to do that.

8. Caterpillar Tractor
8. Caterpillar Tractor
Caterpillar tractors were designed for the battlefield.

Whether you need to quickly dig an embankment for cover or clear obstacles out of your way, military grade tractors are the tool for the job.

7. Chlorine
7. Chlorine
Chlorine cylinders.

The first recorded incident of chemical warfare in the modern era was when German soldiers released a tank of chlorine gas on the battlefield during World War 1.

6. Catapult
6. Catapult
Catapults: the original long-range artillery.

The catapult uses mechanics, as opposed to chemical accelerants like gun powder, to launch ballistics long distances. It proved very useful for getting heavy rocks over high walls in medieval times.

5. Laser Guidance
5. Laser Guidance
Laser guidance allows for killing with pinpoint accuracy.

Lasers allow you to change the channel on your television. Lasers also allow the military to bomb targets from miles away with pinpoint accuracy.

4. Tanks
4. Tanks
Tank warfare revolutionized the battlefield.

Armored military vehicles otherwise known as tanks were first introduced to the battlefield in World War 1 but development began a decade earlier in France and England.

3. Virtual Reality
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is for more than just video games.

Military personnel used virtual reality to train pilots through flight simulators.

2. Deep Web
2. Deep Web

The vast majority of the internet is invisible to search websites like Google. That nether region of the internet was pioneered by onion routing technology that was patented by the U.S. Navy in 1998.

1. The Internet
1. The Internet
The internet was allowed military personnel to communicate on a closed network.

The internet may be the greatest invention of all time, and the military had a lot to do with its development.

More of What's Trending on TheStreet:

Advertisement

More from Stocks

A Guide to Investing in the Fast-Emerging Cannabis Industry

A Guide to Investing in the Fast-Emerging Cannabis Industry

Chart of the Day: Can Disney Catch Netflix?

Chart of the Day: Can Disney Catch Netflix?

Dow Surges More Than 540 Points on Strong Bank Earnings; Nasdaq Gains 2.9%

Dow Surges More Than 540 Points on Strong Bank Earnings; Nasdaq Gains 2.9%

Analysts Confident Netflix Can Restore Content Crown in 2019

Analysts Confident Netflix Can Restore Content Crown in 2019

UnitedHealth Group: A Steady Performer With Room to Run

UnitedHealth Group: A Steady Performer With Room to Run