Army Eyes Urban Terrain Features for Next Generation Combat Vehicle

The U.S. Army wants its next generation of combat vehicles to address challenges associated with urban operations in anticipation of future battles in megacities.

The Army said Thursday it projects that the number of megacities — urban areas with at least 25 million population — will double by 2035, the same year the service branch expects to receive its Next Generation Combat Vehicle platform.

An industry team led by Science Applications International Corp. won a potential eight-year, $237 million contract in September to develop an NGCV prototype.

Gen. Robert Abrams, head of the Army Forces Command, said it is “likely” that the Army’s next battle mission will occur in one of the 25 identified megacities globally.

NGCVs will be designed to address obstacles, large civilian populations and confined spaces in dense urban terrains.

The fighting vehicle may also include a reactive armor, active protection systems, artificial intelligence, autonomy, teaming, advanced target sensors, lasers and the potential for future updates.

Abrams noted that NGCVs should also help reduce the supply line to support faster operations using technologies such as hybrid energy systems, which could lessen the need for fuel resupply convoys.

Abrams noted it is unlikely that all of the Army’s desired features can be built into NGCV, but the list serves as “a green light from the Army to industry to deliver the most capable system that can be produced with existing technology.”

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