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LastName 1
First Last Name
Instructor’s name
Section 1 Introduction
Back ground of the study.
Digital equipment used to be large enough to fill a room but now it’s small enough to be
implanted in human beings. Things like telephones have been completely modified from the
infamous luggage cell phone case. Phones used to be heavy and very difficult to carry; now
devices can easily be carried or fit in a person’s pocket or purse. The United States Department
of Defense is concerned about having trusted sources for manufacturing of leading edge
microchips. Consequently, the fact that the DOD imports most of their military technology is of
concern, as they can have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by their enemies (Pragati &
Rawal, pg.38). Studies try to explain the attempts of microchipping soldiers and its advantages in
monitoring the soldiers’ health on the battlefield. This study finds that these chips have sensors
to detect illnesses and disease that are a major cause of medical evacuations (Plixayra, pg.38).
The study discusses the disadvantages of implanting microchips in humans; they take away a
person’s freedom of choice as the chips are capable of doing human things. Also, these chips she
states are an invasion of privacy as they show the location of a person. These studies examine the
use of microchips on humans or troops and fail to examine the use of these microchips on
military equipment. There is little literature covering the insertion of microchips on military
equipment. Hence, this study will attempt to examine the advantages of using inserting
microchips in military equipment.
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Statement of specific need.
The purpose of this study is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of inserting microchips
into military equipment.
Objectives of the study.
The role of microchips in the military
Advantages of using microchips in military equipment
Disadvantages of using microchips in military equipment
Definition of terms.
Microchips- A microchip (sometimes just called a “chip”) is a unit of packaged computer
circuitry (usually called an integrated circuit) that is manufactured from a material such as silicon
at a very small scale. Microchips are made for program logic (logic or microprocessor chips) and
for computer memory (memory or RAM chips). Microchips are also made that include both
logic and memory and for special purposes such as analog-to-digital conversion, bit slicing, and
DOD-The military branch of the U.S. government, which is under the direction of the Secretary
of Defense, the primary defense policy adviser to the President. The Annual Report to the
President and the Congress (Annual Defense Report) outlines the DoD’s capabilities and plans.
RFID- RFID is an acronym for “radio-frequency identification” and refers to a technology
whereby digital data encoded in RFID tags or smart labels (defined below) are captured by a
reader via radio waves. RFID tag data can be read outside the line-of-sight
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Section 2 Literature Review.
This section will contain the description of microchips, and military equipment the advantages
and disadvantages of using microchips in military equipment from empirical studies that are
Microchips are also called identifying integrated circuits. They were co-invented by Jack
Kilby and James Noyce. The integrated circuits were an improvement on the vacuum tube and
transistor. The integrated circuits were tenacious as they did not burn out easily (Hwaiyu &
Zhou, pg.46). The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. Microchips use radio frequency
identification technology to communicate with scanners.
Microchips are used in many devices besides a computer. In the 1960s the United States
Federal Government Agencies started acquiring chips for their projects including for use in the
Air Force to build minuteman 11 missile and Also NASA used it in their Apollo project. The cofounder of Intel Gordon Moore studies the development and predicted the improvement of
microchips. The studies were called the Moore’s law that stated that with the doubling of
transistors every 18 t0 24 months microchips will improve in performance.
Microchips in the military.
The linkage between defense and industrial in the United States started in the postrevolutionary era when the need for interchangeable rifle parts hastened the development of
repeatable manufacturing processes. After World War II it was quite evident the need for
advanced technology to combat new and external threats and to be victorious. During the Cold
War the United States relied on the industry to come up with technologically superior defenses to
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offset their disadvantages as Russia outnumbered members of their military (Hwaiyu & Zhou,
The United States Department of Defense wanted to cut down the time it takes to make
an informed decision. Reducing time taken while also increasing the precision of the military
equipment increases the chances of victory or accomplishing the tasks intended. There is also an
idea for microchip use that has been going around for years; this is the use of RFID microchips.
These microchips basically prevent the use of guns by anyone else but their owner. The recent
tragic school shootings that are becoming frequent in the United States are committed by
children using their parents’ guns. If the guns are only used by the owner then these deaths can
easily be minimized. An RFID tag can be surgically implanted into a person’s hand to override a
lock on the gun.
The United States army has developed RFID tags system that enables them to track the
round by a military vehicles guns or tanks. This system is fitted with sensors that include
microelectromechanical sensors integrated with the RFID microchips to help determine how
many rounds a tank has fired. These microchips help the soldiers gauge how many rounds the
vehicle has remaining and even the military vehicle can be relied upon. Also, by assessing the
rounds fired can be compared with the damage caused by the weapons and how effective that
weapon is. This results in an accurate indication of the health and maintenance of the barrel.
With the advent of supersonic weapons following World War II the United States
military went on a hunt to find a microchip that could assist in complicated mathematical
equations necessary for missile precision. The use of microchips in military was also strongly
populated by the United States minuteman missile program. It was part of the Cold War’s
nuclear arms buildup. A minuteman missile is shot out of the sky into space then directed to fall
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back to earth directed to hit a specific target. The missiles are fitted with on board navigational
computers hence the use of microchips as they can be programmed to perform a specific task.
Challenges faced by microchips in the military.
Recent trends have shown that in the micro electric industry critical micro electrical
manufacturers are migrating from the United States to other foreign countries (Xuehui &
Tehranipoor, pg.34). The rate of this migration is alarming as these technologies are of extreme
importance to the United States Economy and the need for the Department of Defense,
government and commercial sector to maintain a technological advantage over its peers.
It has been common knowledge in the U.S military that they have a quality control
problem with the microchips they have been buying from China. A 2005 report from the Defense
Science Board warned that buying of military equipment or circuitry from foreign countries,
chips with trojan horses could find their way into American weapons causing their systems to
malfunction. These issues could cause missiles to misfire and computers or nuclear power plants
to shut down in the event of an attack. Research by Sergei & Woods (2012), found that the
microchips that the United States military used was bought from the Chinese were intentionally
built to malfunction. The chips could give foreign covers access to be able to do almost
everything from shutting down American nuclear plant to hijacking fighter jets to stealing
information from the military.
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Section 3 Research Methodology.
This chapter sets out various stages that will be followed in completing this study.
Research design.
The study used descriptive design as it aims to establish the advantages and
disadvantages of using microchips in the military. Research design is valid as it saves time and
expenses used. The information yielded is valid as the interviewer bias is limited.
Data collection instruments.
Data was collected by means of conducting interviews with industry experts. The
questionnaires will be thoroughly researched to ensure that the questions asked and answered are
valid also relevant information from past journals and studies will be considered if the source is
deemed valid.
Data analysis and presentation.
Data analysis refers to the process of examining what has been collected and making
deductions and inferences out of it. The completed interview questionnaires will be edited for
completeness and consistency, checked for errors and omissions; quantitative data will be
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Section 4 Consequences.
These microchips once fitted into military equipment can be used to track them. Tracking
this equipment such as guns is essential because they can be traced and recovered if stolen. Also,
the tracking enables the military to track its soldiers and hold them accountable if their weapons
are used to commit crimes.
Fitting the guns with RFID will help in the decrease of deaths. If a weapon is stolen it can
cause massive damage, but if the thieves or terrorists cannot use this weapon once stolen it limits
the damages that can be caused. Also, a gun inserted with an RFID, the user will be answerable
for the usage or misuse of the gun as it can only be used by them.
Military tanks fitted with microchips have the capabilities of automatically calculating
the number of rounds of missiles used. It also calculates the rounds left in the tank hence the
soldiers can accurately plan their next cause of action. These microchips fitted in tanks can also
assess the physical effects or damage a certain round can make so planning their attack strategy
can maximize the damages.
Missiles that are fitted with microchips such as GPS tracking system will have increased
precision. These microchips enable intercontinental ballistic missiles to be controlled remotely
but with utmost accuracy. The microchips enable the missiles guiding system to work
seamlessly. This makes it possible for the military to reach strikers from a distance while
reducing its effects on the troops.
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There has been a trend for micro electric manufacturers migrating from the United States
to foreign countries. This has created a vacuum in the market as the United States is heavily
reliant on these microchips. This forces the country to contract manufacturers from outside the
country like china or Japan. These microchips may have intentional vulnerabilities that have
been made by manufacturers to compromise the military. The majority of manufacturers use the
JTAG interface as a standard port for chip testing, even though until recently it was primarily
used for boundary scan testing rather than internal microchip testing.
Recently a Cambridge scientist Sergei Skorobogatov (2009) confirmed that Chinese
computer chips used in the U.S. Military systems have hidden back doors that can be used by the
Chinese government to disable everything from American fighter jets to nuclear power plants.
This backdoor can also be hacked to take control of equipment such as drones. The backdoor is
an additional undocumented feature deliberately inserted into the microchip for added
functionality. These chips can be used to steal confidential military information that a country
like China can use to attack America.
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Section 5 Conclusion.
Microchips play a major role in American military as they are used in fighter jets,
missiles, nuclear plants and drones. They are a core of the military equipment. The microchips
are used for missile guiding and also for location of the military equipment. They also play a
major role in the operation of modern day tanks as they have digitized the operation of the tanks.
The microchips can also be used to minimize the gun deaths in the United States and also
end gun violence by both the soldiers and civilians. As with the chips installed the gun activity of
a person can be easily monitored and if they are a threat can be easily identified and their guns
confiscated by the authority.
This study also identifies that microchips are not immune to threats. The microchips can
also be hacked by outsiders and this can compromise the security of the military. The migration
of these microchip manufacturers out of the United States leaves the country at a disadvantage as
they now rely on outside technology for the military chips. This provides America’s enemies
with an opportunity to capitalize and compromise their military. Imported microchips should be
subjected to deeper and more thorough tests to ensure their safety and ways they can’t be used by
outsiders to gain access to military information or equipment’s and plants.
The government should try and attract micro electrical manufacturers into the united
states to ensure that they do not rely on foreign powers for such crucial components in the
American government and military. The department of defense must exploit the full capabilities
of the American industrial base and offer incentives to manufacture these chips manually so that
they can maintain Americas superior technological, industrial and military strengths. The
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department of defense should collaborate with the industrial base to ensure that America takes
full advantage of micro electric manufacturing industry’s increasing agility
The Department of Defense should also develop technology that eases the sharing in of
information between the private sector and the military. Also setting up a research team on how
to ease the relationship between the private sector and government in order to form a symbiotic
relationship that is beneficial to both the private sector and the government.
Subject microchips to more than the JTAG interface testing; especially tests that assess a chips’
internal functions, as the JTAG test is primarily designed to test the external functions of the
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Works Cited
Geng, Hwaiyu, and Lin Zhou. “How semiconductor chips are made.” Semiconductor
Manufacturing Handbook, McGraw Hill, New York (2005).
Skorobogatov, Sergei, and Christopher Woods. “Breakthrough silicon scanning discovers
backdoor in military chip.” International Workshop on Cryptographic Hardware and
Embedded Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012.
Zhang, Xuehui, and Mohammad Tehranipoor. “Case study: Detecting hardware Trojans in thirdparty digital IP cores.” Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST), 2011 IEEE
International Symposium on. IEEE, 2011. 67-70
Vogiatzoglou, Plixavra. “Microchipping humans: a futuristic utopia or a dystopian future.”

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