The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded contracts to eight organisations to develop smarter armoured ground vehicles.
The contracts have been awarded as part of DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) programme.
Raytheon BBN, Honeywell International, Pratt & Miller, SRI International, Leidos, QinetiQ, Carnegie Mellon University and Southwest Research Institute are the contract recipients.
DARPA programme manager major Christopher Orlowski said: "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 armour.
"DARPA’s performers for GXV-T are helping defy the ‘more armour equals better protection’ axiom that has constrained armoured ground vehicle design for the past 100 years, and are paving the way toward innovative, disruptive vehicles for the 21st Century and beyond."
DARPA is seeking ground-based armoured fighting vehicles with an ability to traverse diverse off-road terrain, including slopes and various elevations.
The agency is exploring revolutionary wheel / track and suspension technologies that would enable greater terrain access and on and off-road performance compared to existing ground vehicles.
It also aims to develop vehicles with improved situational awareness capabilities for crew and passengers, semi-autonomous driver assistance and automated crew functions similar to commercial airplane cockpits.
DARPA said: "Capabilities of interest include high-resolution, 360-degree visualisation of data from multiple onboard sensors and technologies to support closed-cockpit vehicle operations."
Image: DARPA has awarded contracts for the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) programme to eight organisations. Photo: courtesy of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.