DARPA Breaks 'More Armor' Paradigm for Protection with New GXV-T Program

CIOReview Team | Friday, 05 June 2015, 10:29 IST

FREMONT, CA: The research wing of U.S. military, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in a statement has announced its move to revolutionize tank design and modern warfare. The aim is to change the tradition of ‘more armor means more protection’ paradigm and build a next generation of armored fighting vehicles ensuring operational viability with ample consideration given over the tactical and strategic mobility, survivability and cost elements. Ground X-Vehicle Technology project is all about ‘bettering tanks through improving mobility, detection and overall survivability, rather than adding thicker, stronger armour’ reports Nathan Chai for IT ProPortal. GXV-T’s technical goals include: reduce vehicle size and weight by 50 percent, reduce onboard crew needed to operate vehicle by 50 percent, increase vehicle speed by 100 percent, access 95 percent of terrain and reduce signatures that enable adversaries to detect and engage vehicles. “GXV-T’s goal is not just to improve or replace one particular vehicle—it’s about breaking the ‘more armor’ paradigm and revolutionizing protection for all armored fighting vehicles,” says Kevin Massey, DARPA Program Manager. “Inspired by how X-plane programs have improved aircraft capabilities over the past 60 years, we plan to pursue groundbreaking fundamental research and development to help make future armored fighting vehicles significantly more mobile, effective, safe and affordable.” The GXV-T program provides the following four technical areas of advanced technologies designed to meet the program’s objectives: Radically Enhanced Mobility – Ability to traverse varied off-road terrain, including slopes and a range of elevations; advanced suspensions and novel track/wheel configurations; extreme speed; rapid omnidirectional movement changes in three dimensions Survivability through Agility – Autonomously steer clear of incoming threats without harming occupants through technologies such as agile motion (dodging) and active repositioning of armor Crew Augmentation – Superior physical and electronically assisted situational awareness for crew and passengers; semi-autonomous driver assistance and automation of key crew functions similar to capabilities found in modern commercial airplane cockpits Signature Management – Reduction of detectable signatures, including visible, infrared (IR), acoustic and electromagnetic (EM).