War has been around since the dawn of civilization. Armies have come a long way since the bow and arrow and the days of fighting with spears. Today’s cutting edge technology as led to laser weapons, faster airplanes, unmanned bomb -carrying vehicles, and more. Here are some technologies that have literally transformed warfare.

Combat drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) enable troops to deploy weapons in war while staying thousands of miles at bay from the front lines. This protects the lives of drone pilots and limits the number of fatalities. The use of drones is growing across all branches of operational forces today.

Naval warfare was revolutionized by the invention of underwater vessels—the submarine. The first successful submarine attack on a warship took place during the Civil War lasting from 1861-1865. The Confederate submarine CSS H.L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic in waters off South Carolina in 1864. Submarines are still being used today to carry missiles, support land attacks, and create blockades.

The Tomahawk was first introduced during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. This long-range cruise missile is designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at subsonic speeds. Traveling speed for these puppies places them at 550 miles per hour and their GPS receivers are able to locate their targets with precise accuracy.

Stealth technology was developed in Germany during WWII. Today’s stealth aircraft helps pilots evade detection in the sky. While it’s impossible for planes to be 100% invisible; the radar detection, stealth planes advanced technologies greatly reduces the refection of the aircraft and radio frequency spectrum.