Militaries of several countries are known to have expressed interest in Generic Modafinil as an alternative to amphetamine—the drug traditionally employed in combat situations where troops face sleep deprivation, such as during lengthy missions. The French government indicated that the Foreign Legion used modafinil during certain covert operations. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence commissioned research into modafinil from QinetiQ and spent £300,000 on one investigation. In 2011, the Indian Air Force announced that modafinil was included in contingency plans. The Indian Armed Forces Medical Services is researching its use.
In the United States military, Generic Modafinil from India has been approved for use on certain Air Force missions, and it is being investigated for other uses.One study of helicopter pilots suggested that 600 mg of modafinil given in three doses can be used to keep pilots alert and maintain their accuracy at pre-deprivation levels for 40 hours without sleep; however, significant levels of nausea and vertigo were observed. A second helicopter study found modafinil was comparable to dextroamphetamine and was well-tolerated. Another study of fighter pilots showed that modafinil given in three divided 100 mg doses sustained the flight control accuracy of sleep-deprived F-117 pilots to within about 27 percent of baseline levels for 37 hours, without any considerable side effects.In an 88-hour sleep loss study of simulated military grounds operations, 400 mg/day doses were mildly helpful at maintaining alertness and performance of subjects compared to placebo, but the researchers concluded that this dose was not high enough to compensate for most of the effects of complete sleep loss. In law enforcement, tactical paramedics in Maryland (US) may administer 200 mg of modafinil once daily in order to “enhance alertness / concentration” and “facilitate functioning with limited rest periods.”
The Canadian Medical Association Journal also reports that Modafinil is used by astronauts on long-term missions aboard the International Space Station. Modafinil is “available to crew to optimize performance while fatigued” and helps with the disruptions in circadian rhythms and with the reduced quality of sleep astronauts experience.