Pentagon Wants To Vaporize Battlefield Widgets on Command

DARPA will make battlefield electronic systems disappear.

DARPA will make battlefield electronic systems disappear. Marynchenko Oleksandr

DARPA awarded a contract to develop ‘transient electronics’ that will evade enemy capture.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded BAE Systems Advanced Technologies a $4.5 million contract last week to develop battlefield electronic systems “capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner.”

The DARPA Vanishing Programmable Resources program -- VAPR -- aims to eliminate electronics, such as sensors, that end up scattered around a battlefield and become easy pickings for an enemy.

DARPA plans to use VAPR to develop such here today, gone tomorrow “transient electronics” with a focus on sensors with RF links. Such a system might be used to sense environmental or biomedical conditions and communicate with a remote user.

This sure sounds like the ultimate in planned obsolescence. Just think what it could do to drive smartphone sales.

(Image via Marynchenko Oleksandr/