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Booz Allen IDs Top 10 Emerging Technologies for DOD and National Security

New research highlights critical tech that will make mission impact on day one

Booz Allen Hamilton today released new research on the “Top 10 Emerging Technologies for The Department of Defense (DOD) and National Security," which identifies and analyzes critical technology to achieve day-one mission impact now and over the next one to three years, specifically in the defense and intelligence sectors.

The report was developed by Booz Allen’s Tech Scouting team – a core function of Booz Allen's Chief Technology Office (CTO) that closely monitors early-stage technologies, non-traditional partners, and startups poised to transform mission outcomes for the public sector. Tech Scouting has a critical role as a trusted advisor to U.S. government clients, across Booz Allen’s portfolios and its venture capital arm, Booz Allen Ventures.

"The greatest technological competition of our lifetimes is upon us and it is incumbent that we identify, invest in and deploy solutions that meet the missions of our DOD and intelligence clients—without the traditional silos of commercial versus federal,” said Brian MacCarthy, Senior Vice President and head of Booz Allen Tech Scouting and Ventures. "This report is a needs report—not a hype report—that underscores the imperative for dual-use technologies and implores that we find a more strategic approach to successfully harness emerging technology to meet the missions of today and tomorrow."

By focusing on dual-use technologies, this report extends defense-focused analysis into commercial markets where U.S. entrepreneurs and investors work together to create what is America’s greatest global competitive advantage: technological innovation at speed. The report also highlights promising emerging startups in each of the identified technology areas that could help make these technologies viable both for commercial and military systems.

Key takeaways from the report include a detailed overview of ten emerging technologies expected to reach an inflection point of impact in the next one to three years, including (grouped by category, not order of importance):


  • AI Accelerator Chips: semiconductor chips designed for speeding up artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) computations and lowering their energy requirements, enabling AI at the edge.
  • Multimodal AI: AI systems that ingest text, imagery, audio, video and other data types in tandem to better interpret context and create more accurate predictions.
  • Generative AI Software Development: specially designed AI/ML to review, edit, and write software, offloading all or much of the coding burden from humans, as well as potentially reduce bugs and security flaws.


  • Post-Quantum Cryptography: new mathematical algorithms for public-key encryption are essential to resist attacks from quantum computers in the future.


  • High-Density Energy Storage: next-generation batteries with significantly higher energy density, allowing for greater energy output in smaller transportable form factors.


  • Alternative Positions, Navigation, and Timing (Alt-PNT): more secure, robust alternatives to existing, vulnerable GPS-based position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies.
  • Space Domain Awareness Tech: technology for a thorough understanding of the space operating environment to perceive threats and reduce risk of collision through study and monitoring of satellites and orbital objects.

Autonomy and Aerospace

  • Autonomous Swarms: multiple robots with local processing, communication, and sensing capabilities interconnected and programmed to react to their environment autonomously.
  • Non-Kinetic Counter-UAS: weapons that use highly focused energy, such as lasers, microwaves, particle beams, and sound beams, to damage or destroy fast-moving threat targets.
  • Hypersonics: vehicles or weapon systems that fly five times faster than the speed of sound.

“The research is not about new technologies per se, but about new ways of thinking,” said Meghan Hauser, Ph.D., Technical Lead for Booz Allen Tech Scouting. “Finding new ways of thinking is something no one in the world does better than the U.S.'s commercial startup ecosystem. This, combined with the committed and talented members of the U.S. DOD and IC, is the recipe we need to continue to protect future generations of Americans.”

This latest report, “Top 10 Emerging Technologies for the DOD and National Security,” is a special extended edition of Velocity, Booz Allen’s annual publication to dissect complex issues at the intersection of mission and technology.

Read the full report and learn more about Booz Allen’s Tech Scouting capabilities.


Emerging technology is a key element in the future of warfare, and the aim of this report is to be an introductory roadmap for those trying to understand it. To identify technology ecosystem candidates, Booz Allen used a mix of DOD priority technology areas, defense agency tech watch lists, venture analysis, and in-house trend observation and analysis. Technologies were down-selected using a variety of criteria, including: defense impact, market momentum, technology readiness level, defense implementation speed, and commercial impact. Assertions are based on technology research and mission knowledge curated from inside Booz Allen and out, from conversations with leaders from Washington, DC to Silicon Valley and other technology hubs around the country. DOD must move fast and integrate emerging technology, and this report is intended to aid in that endeavor.

About Booz Allen Hamilton

Trusted to transform missions with the power of tomorrow’s technologies, Booz Allen Hamilton advances the nation’s most critical civil, defense, and national security priorities. We lead, invest, and invent where it’s needed most—at the forefront of complex missions, using innovation to define the future. We combine our in-depth expertise in AI and cybersecurity with leading-edge technology and engineering practices to deliver impactful solutions. Combining 110 years of strategic consulting expertise with the perspectives of diverse talent, we ensure results by integrating technology with an enduring focus on our clients. We’re first to the future—moving missions forward to realize our purpose: Empower People to Change the World®.

With global headquarters in McLean, Virginia, our firm employs approximately 33,800 people globally as of December 31, 2023, and had revenue of $9.3 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2023. To learn more, visit (NYSE: BAH)

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this release include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements that do not directly relate to any historical or current fact. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “forecasts,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “outlook,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “preliminary,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give you no assurance these expectations will prove to have been correct. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in or implied by these forward-looking statements, including those factors discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, which can be found at the SEC’s website at All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. All such statements speak only as of the date made and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



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