Technological superiority over an enemy is a sure way to gain an advantage in war. Whether that advantage is capitalized upon to bring victory is another matter.

The Eastern Romans (Byzantines) had the Greek fire — an early form of napalm — that they used to great effect for centuries in repelling the invading hordes from the east and north. The Europeans had the Maxim gun that they used to devasting effect in conquering Africa. And the list goes on.

The U.S. military might be the most technologically advanced force on the planet, but the competition isn’t far behind. Perpetual vigilance in upholding this advantage, regardless of the branch or platform, is key. And when it comes to the equipment used by close-combat troops — arguably the ones who win or lose wars — then that vigilance must be that much higher.

Recently, the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT), which aims to improve the lethality of close-combat troops, tested a prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS). The testing included both conventional and Special Operations units. The Microsoft-designed product is looking to ensure tactical superiority over current and future adversaries.