<p></p> <p>All debates about jingoism and pacifism aside, it's hard to argue with the fact that the considerable cash poured into military-related research and development sure does turn out some nifty gadgets, vehicles and, yes, explosions.</p> <p>As 2010 comes to a close, here is a rundown (though in no particular order) of 12 of the year's top stories on TechNewsDaily touching on military technology: from the newest flying machines to old fighter jets, screaming fast warships to robotic craft, and futuristic laser weapons to a powerful new grenade launcher.</p> <p></p>

<strong>Seven Sci-Fi Weapons from Tomorrow Are Here Today </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>A number of weapons and weapons systems now on active duty or in the prototype stage seem to have been ripped straight out of the overwrought imagination of a sci-fi writer. Here’s a trip back to the future to look at some of the latest military and law enforcement hardware.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|602|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>New Army Camouflage Lets Soldiers Hide in Plain Sight </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>New camouflage uniforms being given to U.S. Army troops in Afghanistan will make them much harder to see.  Here's how.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|899|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Recycled Military Jets Serve as Satellite Launchers </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>One company has a plan to turn old fighter jets into a launch system for the fleet of small satellites set to be launched in the coming years by dozens of universities and organizations.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|1401|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Navy Tests Screaming Fast Warship </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>A high-tech ship with blistering speed aims to become the Navy's new go-to vessel for close-to-shore missions.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|591|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong> </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Air Force Invests in 'Batman' Technologies for Special Forces Soldiers </strong></p> <p>A military program named for and inspired by the superhero Batman is bringing together advanced technologies to equip Special Forces soldiers for the 21st century.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|1113|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Navy Shoots Down Robotic Aircraft with Laser Beams </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>A futuristic battle was fought over the Pacific Ocean where laser beams targeted four robotic aircraft and ignited them, sending the flaming drones plummeting into the sea.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|794|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>New Robotic Stealth Fighter Jet Set to Soar </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>Unlike earlier generation drones, the Phantom Ray stealth jet from Boeing flies high and fast and doesn’t need a pilot on the ground.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|471|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p>And read about the <a alt="((CONLINK|1713|Phantom%20Ray's%20maiden%20flight%20on%20Dec.%2013))" href="">Phantom Ray's maiden flight on Dec. 13</a> .</p> <p></p>

<strong>7 Next Generation UAVs </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>While the Predator drone dominates the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) world today, the next generation of robotic planes will push the limits of technology even further. Here's a look at seven of the contenders.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|763|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Old Fighter Jets to Be Destroyed in Target Practice </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>Boeing is converting retired Lockheed-Martin F-16 fighter jets into QF-16 Drones to be shot down during Air Force target practice with live ammunition.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|762|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>New Game-Changing Army Weapon, XM25, Destroys Hidden Targets </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>The Army’s new XM25 grenade launcher has microchip-embedded "smart" rounds that can reach enemies behind cover at considerable distances.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|499|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Flying Car Could Transform Warfare </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>The military's R&amp;D wing, DARPA, is looking to equip soldiers with a flying car that will cruise in the air like a plane and drive on the ground like an SUV.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|371|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p> <p></p>

<strong>Bang-Free Bombs: Military Merges High Tech and Low Tech </strong>

<p></p> <p></p> <p>The military is developing nonexplosive concrete bombs that will destroy a single structure, leaving nearby buildings intact.</p> <p><a alt="((CONLINK|1144|Read%20the%20full%20story))" href="">Read the full story</a> </p>

By Land, Sea, Air and Space: Top 12 Military Tech Stories of 2010