respects. It is no accident that civilian boats are now manufactured almost entirely from polymer composites. The potential advantages are attractive for high-speed craft such as hydrofoils, particularly since corrosion problems would be eliminated. As the effectiveness of armor-piercing projectiles reduces the importance of bulk armor, polymer-based materials should come to the fore. Unmanned vehicles will become cheaper and more effective. The performance of shallow-draft vehicles for river and beach landing operations will be enhanced by light weight. Transport of marine (as well as land) vehicles will become faster and easier with lighter weight. Polymer-based hull coatings that afford a low-friction skin for marine vehicles could provide a military breakthrough.
Achievement of a low radar, sonar, optical, or source signature is a critical military objective. Aircraft need a low radar reflective surface. Ships and particularly submarines need a low sonar reflective surface. Land-based vehicles also need these features. Polymer-based materials can be uniquely adapted and tailored to achieve the stealth objective. This is an active but still emerging field.
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