The city of Tampa, Florida, hosted last week the annual Special Operation Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), where thousands of people attended to see the latest developments in elite military weapons, vehicles, and technology.
Recent advancements in military technology range from hybrid armored vehicles to cyborg insects that could be used as spy drones. Laser-based weaponry has also seen some significant improvements, with Lockheed Martin unveiling mobile and mounted laser equipment that outperforms the previous tech.
Cybersecurity also received some attention at SOFIC 2017, where organizers held a hackathon to challenge teams to tackle real-life special ops situations. Military spending is nearing an all-time high under President Trump’s administration, who has pledged to fight terrorism hard with new measures.
SOFIC 2017 had a wide-ranging weapons showcase
Leupold, Nightforce, and Surefire were all among the many arm makers displaying their equipment at SOFIC, where household names like Remington, Beretta, and Glock were also present.
Being this a Special Operation Forces event, there were more than a couple of specialized companies that most outside the industry won’t be too familiar with. One such company is Rafael, for example, whose 15-mile range SPIKE NLOS (Non-Line of Sight) missile was exhibited at the conference.
More traditional weapons like rifles and pistols were also part of the showcase. Barrett presented its MRAD Rifle at SOFIC, with specialized adaptability options to optimize performance. Sig Sauer’s P320 made an appearance too after the Army chose it as the M9 Service Pistol’s replacement.
Drones and vehicles were all the rage at SOFIC 2017
It turns out that the popular truck manufacturer MACK also has a tradition of making military vehicles and they rolled into the Tampa showroom with the MACK Defense Sherpa. This tough truck has a camouflage paint job and armored exterior capable of withstanding the rough conditions of a special ops mission.
Popular models among special ops forces were part of the exhibition too, with IAG’s Guardian Armored Personnel Vehicle and the Tactical Response Vehicle parked on the premises for people to take a look.
The plane maker Boeing has a military arm as well, and their Compact Laser Weapon System was part of the show. It is a portable set that can be assembled quickly to take down drones with a laser beam.
Speaking of drones, Lockheed Martin was at it again with the INDAGO 3 at SOFIC. This vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft serves tactical purposes rather than active combat ones. It is used mostly to explore areas of interest and examine locations more up close.
11,000 people attended the event, where 400 firms exhibited their elite military offerings over the course of four days. The conference also served as a trade meeting in which many of these companies made deals with each other and the Army.
Source: Fox News