The U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) plans to make the next generation vehicles meant for fighting lighter, at the expense of their armor. Today, the vehicles are equipped with thick armor to ensure their survival, but soon they might drop it in favor of agility and speed.
The agency wishes to attempt transforming the current technology into a safe and effective one by conducting extensive research on making them lighter instead of adding additional armor. According to Maj. Christopher Orlowski, the program manager of DARPA,
“We’re exploring a variety of potentially groundbreaking technologies, all of which are designed to improve vehicle mobility, vehicle survivability and crew safety and performance without piling on armor.”
Furthermore, the GXV-T (Ground X-Vehicle Technology) performers will be the first to challenge the idea that more armor is always better, an idea that has been predominant over the last one hundred years. These vehicles are currently aiming to become more disruptive armored machines. The concept of the modifications that would occur has been presented in a video posted on YouTube.
Even though the idea seems revolutionary and well intended, the video has such a low quality and such bad visuals that it made most viewers reconsider the innovation of such a change.
The program was announced back in August 2014, when Kevin Massey, the program manager, has stated that GXV-T is not meant to replace or improve other vehicles but become an entirely new one. It appears DARPA will focus on four areas: Crew Augmentation, Radically Enhanced Mobility, Signature Management and Survivability through Agility.
Together, the four areas will facilitate the building of innovative vehicles which can navigate independently and avoid perceived threats, thus keeping the passengers in complete safety. Additionally, they are set to travel efficiently in off-road conditions and offer assistance in various situations.
For the time being, DARPA is known to have implicated eight organizations in the GXV-T program, such as Pratt & Miller, the Carnegie Mellon University, Leidos, SRI International, Raytheon BBN, Honeywell International Inc. and the Southwest Research Institute in the U.S. The eight one is QinetiQ Inc. from the United Kingdom. Other parties interested in the program are the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.
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