The US Army has awarded a $430m contract to Alion Science and Technology to support Army research and development (R&D) of military manned and unmanned ground vehicles.

Under the five-year contract, the company will provide systems engineering, integration capabilities and R&D support to the army’s Tank-Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Alion will support TARDEC’s processes, which include power and mobility, survivability, intelligent ground systems, force projection and system software, as well as vehicle electronics and architecture.

Alion Strategic Operations Group senior vice-president and manager Timer Keenan said improving the safety, versatility, fuel efficiency and effectiveness of ground vehicles was crucial to the success of soldiers in future conflicts.

“We’ll look beyond the usual sources to find solutions. We may incorporate ideas from specialty manufacturers and the motor sports industry, for example, and we can bring in the right partners to help us fully develop those concepts,” he said.

The US Army’s TARDEC is the material command that provides complete life-cycle engineering for all manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems.