Today’s ground-based armored fighting vehicles are better protected than ever, but face a constantly evolving threat: weapons increasingly effective at piercing armor. While adding more armor has provided incremental increases in protection, it has also hobbled vehicle speed and mobility and ballooned development and deployment costs. To help reverse this trend, DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program recently awarded contracts to eight organizations.
DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program seeks to develop groundbreaking technologies that would make future armored fighting vehicles significantly more mobile, effective, safe and affordable.
Radically Enhanced Mobility—Ability to traverse diverse off-road terrain, including slopes and various elevations. Capabilities of interest include revolutionary wheel/track and suspension technologies that would enable greater terrain access and faster travel both on- and off-road compared to existing ground vehicles.
Like previous autonomous off-road military vehicle prototypes, for example Carnegie Mellon University's "Crusher", all-wheel-drive in-wheel motor electric powertrains are a key enabling technology for these next generation vehicles.
“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,” said Maj. Christopher Orlowski, DARPA program manager. “DARPA’s performers for GXV-T are helping defy the ‘more armor equals better protection’ axiom that has constrained armored ground vehicle design for the past 100 years, and are paving the way toward innovative, disruptive vehicles for the 21st Century and beyond.”