The US Military has revealed a look at a radical new ‘ultra survivable’ future combat vehicle.
The secretive DARPA X-Vehicle project is designed to protect troops, and allow them to go almost anywhere.
It features radical wheels that can convert from tires to tank tracks at the push of a button.
DARPA says the aim of the project, officially known as the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program is to ”improve mobility, survivability, safety, and effectiveness of future combat vehicles without piling on armor.’
‘We’re looking at how to enhance survivability by buttoning up the cockpit and augmenting the crew through driver-assistance aids,’ said Maj. Amber Walker, the program manager for GXV-T in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.
‘For mobility, we’ve taken a radically different approach by avoiding armor and developing options to move quickly and be agile over all terrain.’
The agency has awarded several contracts the develop the technology need for the vehicle.
Several Phase 2 contract awardees recently demonstrated advances on a variety of potentially groundbreaking technologies to meet the program’s goals.
Carneguie Mellon’s shape changing wheels allow their shape to be changed.
Wheels that can reconfigure from wheel to track and back again within two seconds while the wheel is in motion.
It has also carried out demonstrations, such as one in May at Aberdeen Test Center shown here.
The final vehicle will have ‘radically enhanced mobility’ and the agency says ‘GXV-T envisions future combat vehicles that could traverse up to 95 percent of off-road terrain, including slopes and various elevations.
‘Capabilities include revolutionary wheel-to-track and suspension technologies that would enable access and faster travel both on- and off-road, compared to existing ground vehicles.’
It also hopes to shield inhabitants by using augmented reality.
Traditional combat vehicle designs have small windows that improve protection, but limit visibility.
GXV-T will have systems with multiple onboard sensors and technologies to provide high-resolution, 360-degree situational awareness while keeping the vehicle enclosed.
Walker said GXV-T performers are pursuing a variety of transition paths for the new technologies.
‘DARPA’s excited about the progress made to date on the GXV-T program and we look forward to working with the Services to transition these technologies into ground vehicle platforms of the future.’