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Kevin Massey: DARPA Eyes Shift Away From ‘More Armor’ For Ground Vehicles

Ground X-Vehicle Technology conceptThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a new research and development program centered on discovering ground vehicle technologies to address warfighters’ need for both mobility and survivability in combat situations.

DARPA said Monday the Ground X-Vehicle Technology program aims to achieve a 50 percent decrease in vehicle size and weight and the number of onboard crew, a 100-percent increase in speed, decreased vehicle signatures and ability to traverse nearly all types of terrain.

“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,” said Kevin Massey, program manager at DARPA.

To meet the technical goals, potential program partners can develop technologies focused on the areas of enhanced mobility, survivability through agility, crew augmentation and signature management.

The agency said technology coverage includes new track/wheel configurations, omnidirectional movement, active armor repositioning, crew function automation and undetectable infrared, acoustic and electromagnetic signatures.

DARPA expects to award the contracts by April 2015, with 24-month periods of performance for R&D work and system design, testing and evaluation. A Proposers’ Day will be held for interested participants on Sept. 5 in Virginia.

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