Batteries that harvest energy from the nuclear decay of isotopes can produce very low levels of current and last for decades without needing to be replaced. A new version of the batteries, called betavoltaics, is being developed by an Ithaca, NY-based company and tested by Lockheed Martin. The batteries could potentially power electrical circuits that protect military planes and missiles from tampering by destroying information stored in the systems, or by sending out a warning signal to a military center. The batteries are expected to last for 25 years.
The anti-tamper systems are to prevent someone who gets their hands on equipment from being able to determine its inner workings to defeat or reverse-engineer it.
Battery technology is a major roadblock, and not only for the military.
Of course, if the military suddenly had batteries that were ten times as powerful and one-tenth the size of current batteries, it wouldn’t be “Gee, look how much less our troops have to carry.” It would be, “Gee, I can carry all this new gear now plus four extra mags.”