DARPA GXV-T program seeks smarted, faster armored ground vehicles with eight contracts

ARLINGTON, Virginia. Officials at DARPA have launched a program to improve the U.S. military ground vehicle resistance to armor-piercing weapons that does not reduce speed and mobility or increase development and deployment costs. under the program, dubbed Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program, DARPA officials awarded contracts to eight organizations.

“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,” says 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.”

The DARPA 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. Photo courtesy of DARPA.

The following organizations won GXV-T contracts:

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
Honeywell International Inc. in Phoenix;
Leidos in San Diego;
Pratt & Miller in New Hudson, Michigan;
QinetiQ Inc. in Farnborough, United Kingdom;
Raytheon BBN in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas; and
SRI International in Menlo Park, California.

GXV-T is performing research in these four technical areas:

-- Radically Enhanced Mobility—Ability for navigating diverse off-road terrain, such as slopes and various elevations. Capabilities of interest include wheel/track and suspension technologies that would enable greater terrain access and faster travel on- and off-road when compared to existing .

-- Survivability via Agility—Autonomously to avoid incoming threats without harming vehicle occupants through technologies that enable, for example, agile motion and active repositioning of armor. Capabilities of interest here include vertical and horizontal movement of armor to defeat incoming threats in real time.

-- Crew Augmentation—Improved physical and electronically assisted for crew and passengers; semi-autonomous driver assistance and automation of key crew functions that is similar to capabilities found in modern commercial aircraft . Capabilities of interest here include high-resolution, 360-degree visualization of data from multiple and technologies to support closed-cockpit vehicle operations.

-- Signature Management—Reduction of detectable signatures, such as visible, infrared (IR), acoustic and electromagnetic (EM). Capabilities of interest here include improved ways to avoid detection and engagement by adversaries.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps have already expressed interest in future GXV-T capabilities, according to DARPA.

To see a video on the GXT-V program, visit www.youtube.com/darpatv.