Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) Program

eshelon

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August 18, 2014

GXV-T seeks to develop revolutionary technologies to make future armored fighting vehicles more mobile, effective and affordable

For the past 100 years of mechanized warfare, protection for ground-based armored fighting vehicles and their occupants has boiled down almost exclusively to a simple equation: More armor equals more protection. Weapons’ ability to penetrate armor, however, has advanced faster than armor’s ability to withstand penetration. As a result, achieving even incremental improvements in crew survivability has required significant increases in vehicle mass and cost.

The trend of increasingly heavy, less mobile and more expensive combat platforms has limited Soldiers’ and Marines’ ability to rapidly deploy and maneuver in theater and accomplish their missions in varied and evolving threat environments. Moreover, larger vehicles are limited to roads, require more logistical support and are more expensive to design, develop, field and replace. The U.S. military is now at a point where—considering tactical mobility, strategic mobility, survivability and cost—innovative and disruptive solutions are necessary to ensure the operational viability of the next generation of armored fighting vehicles.

DARPA has created the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program to help overcome these challenges and disrupt the current trends in mechanized warfare. GXV-T seeks to investigate revolutionary ground-vehicle technologies that would simultaneously improve the mobility and survivability of vehicles through means other than adding more armor, including avoiding detection, engagement and hits by adversaries. This improved mobility and warfighting capability would enable future U.S. ground forces to more efficiently and cost-effectively tackle varied and unpredictable combat situations.

“GXV-T’s goal is not just to improve or replace one particular vehicle—it’s about breaking the ‘more armor’ paradigm and revolutionizing protection for all armored fighting vehicles,” said Kevin Massey, DARPA program manager. “Inspired by how X-plane programs have improved aircraft capabilities over the past 60 years, we plan to pursue groundbreaking fundamental research and development to help make future armored fighting vehicles significantly more mobile, effective, safe and affordable.”

GXV-T’s technical goals include the following improvements relative to today’s armored fighting vehicles:

Reduce vehicle size and weight by 50 percent
Reduce onboard crew needed to operate vehicle by 50 percent
Increase vehicle speed by 100 percent
Access 95 percent of terrain
Reduce signatures that enable adversaries to detect and engage vehicles

The GXV-T program provides the following four technical areas as examples where advanced technologies could be developed that would meet the program’s objectives:

Radically Enhanced Mobility – Ability to traverse diverse off-road terrain, including slopes and various elevations; advanced suspensions and novel track/wheel configurations; extreme speed; rapid omnidirectional movement changes in three dimensions
Survivability through Agility – Autonomously avoid incoming threats without harming occupants through technologies such as agile motion (dodging) and active repositioning of armor
Crew Augmentation – Improved physical and electronically assisted situational awareness for crew and passengers; semi-autonomous driver assistance and automation of key crew functions similar to capabilities found in modern commercial airplane cockpits
Signature Management – Reduction of detectable signatures, including visible, infrared (IR), acoustic and electromagnetic (EM)

Technology development beyond these four examples is desired so long as it supports the program’s goals. DARPA is particularly interested in engaging nontraditional contributors to help develop leap-ahead technologies in the focus areas above, as well as other technologies that could potentially improve both the survivability and mobility of future armored fighting vehicles.

DARPA aims to develop GXV-T technologies over 24 months after initial contract awards, which are currently planned on or before April 2015. The GXV-T program plans to pursue research, development, design and testing and evaluation of major subsystem capabilities in multiple technology areas with the goal of integrating these capabilities into future ground X-vehicle demonstrators.

GXV-T%20Concept%20Image%207.jpg


GXV-T%20Concept%20Image%208.jpg
 

compton_effect

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Everything, except cliff faces.
Problem is, we already have a craft that can cover the same type of terrain. Its called a helicopter.
 

sferrin

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This is one of the dumber ideas I've seen. It's like telling the soldier we're going to take his helmet, armor, and boots and give him a pair of running shoes instead. "By not being weighed down by that additional gear the soldier will become more agile and less likely to be hit". Insert some triple-facepalm meme.
 

robunos

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We already have a GVX-T topic here...

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22630.0.html

Merge please...?

cheers,
Robin.
 

Grey Havoc

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One thing's for certain, the 'flip down' seats for infantry (tank desant?) idea was added to the concept/presentation at the last moment; The artwork on slide 9 illustrating the idea seems to come from a totally different program!
 

Avimimus

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So I take it - no forested terrain, no marshland and no Canadian Shield rugged beaver-pond country? But really good in desert terrain?
 

Void

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sferrin said:
This is one of the dumber ideas I've seen. It's like telling the soldier we're going to take his helmet, armor, and boots and give him a pair of running shoes instead. "By not being weighed down by that additional gear the soldier will become more agile and less likely to be hit". Insert some triple-facepalm meme.


FCS got killed. Army was sad. So now it is being reanimated as a DARPA program.
 

Rickshaw

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sferrin said:
This is one of the dumber ideas I've seen. It's like telling the soldier we're going to take his helmet, armor, and boots and give him a pair of running shoes instead. "By not being weighed down by that additional gear the soldier will become more agile and less likely to be hit". Insert some triple-facepalm meme.

Actually, that is not as silly an argument as you appear to believe. Many special forces indeed operate in such a way, preferring ease and speed of movement over cumbersome armour.
 

bigvlada

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When faced by hoplites, peltasts operated by throwing javelins at short range. If the hoplites charged, the peltasts would retreat. As they carried considerably lighter equipment than the hoplites, they were usually able to evade successfully, especially in difficult terrain. They would then return to the attack once the pursuit ended, if possible taking advantage of any disorder created in the hoplites' ranks. At the Battle of Sphacteria, the Athenian forces included 800 archers and at least 800 peltasts. Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War [4.33], writes

They (the Spartan hoplites) themselves were held up by the weapons shot at them from both flanks by the light troops. Though they (the hoplites) drove back the light troops at any point in which they ran in and approached too closely, they (the light troops) still fought back even in retreat, since they had no heavy equipment and could easily outdistance their pursuers over ground where, since the place had been uninhabited until then, the going was rough and difficult.

When fighting other types of light troops, peltasts were able to close more aggressively in melee, as they had the advantage of possessing shields, swords, and helmets.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peltast
The problem is, you have to know the terrain better than your heavily armored opponent .
 

Moose

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Void said:
FCS got killed. Army was sad. So now it is being reanimated as a DARPA program.
It should have been DARPA in the first place. This is the proper course; DARPA tinkers with technology/concepts until it proves them feasible, then the service uses that data to create a program. If DARPA can't make it happen, or takes 20 years to make it happen, or discovers it's not a good solution along the way, that's fine because that's DARPA's job.
 

Bgray

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I wish more people understood that about DARPA. I keep having ot field family rants about "useless programs that probably won't work" and tell them that is DARPA's reason for existing. They're not working on stuff that is supposed to be developed next year-- heck the DARPA "robot road race" was panned due to the fact that most of the robots didn't even make it to the end, but that failure was probably as valuable to the science behind things as a success would have been. We need MORE DARPA style programs, not fewer.
 

Void

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Just because it is DARPA doesn't mean it is a good idea!
 

ouroboros

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I can understand how movable armor (the simplest version being a robot arm with a shield plate mounted on a turret ring) is much lighter than full armor of the same spec, but two obvious problems are saturation attacks exceeding the slew rate of the movable panels (a similar problem for certain active defense systems that are turreted or have relatively fixed direction firing ports). The bigger problem is safety of nearby dismounted infantry. Having a panel whip around could slice a guy in half. Then again, I suppose that's an improvement over ERA panels turning some guy into hamburger or an active defense shotgun turning you into swiss cheese.

Now, watching something like a tank bunny hop to avoid an RPG shot would be quite a sight however...
 

eshelon

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Movable armor -> Electromagnetic Reactive Armour?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7rxBifd0cY
 

bigvlada

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I can understand how movable armor (the simplest version being a robot arm with a shield plate mounted on a turret ring) is much lighter than full armor of the same spec, but two obvious problems are saturation attacks exceeding the slew rate of the movable panels (a similar problem for certain active defense systems that are turreted or have relatively fixed direction firing ports). The bigger problem is safety of nearby dismounted infantry. Having a panel whip around could slice a guy in half. Then again, I suppose that's an improvement over ERA panels turning some guy into hamburger or an active defense shotgun turning you into swiss cheese.

Now, watching something like a tank bunny hop to avoid an RPG shot would be quite a sight however...
You don't need to move anything...physical... ;D




http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x16r17g_robotech-remastered-episode-06-blitzkrieg-1080p_shortfilms&start=965
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbZHSuCwxS8&feature=player_embedded
http://io9.com/this-darpa-video-puts-you-in-the-cockpit-of-its-tank-o-1643799151


http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141008-armoured-cars-that-avoid-enemies​
 

bobbymike

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http://defense-update.com/20160427_gxv_t.html

Contract awards
 

RLBH

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ouroboros said:
Now, watching something like a tank bunny hop to avoid an RPG shot would be quite a sight however...
Only just seen this... when it came out, I worked through the implications, based on typical RPG engagement ranges. It turned out that the tank would need about 4 GW of power, the wheels would be breaking Mach 3, and the unfortunate occupants subjected to accelerations of 24g. Oh, and it would be capable of reaching 20,000 feet.
 

ynm

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RLBH said:
ouroboros said:
Now, watching something like a tank bunny hop to avoid an RPG shot would be quite a sight however...
Only just seen this... when it came out, I worked through the implications, based on typical RPG engagement ranges. It turned out that the tank would need about 4 GW of power, the wheels would be breaking Mach 3, and the unfortunate occupants subjected to accelerations of 24g. Oh, and it would be capable of reaching 20,000 feet.

What is your calculation? If you want extremely short range reaction, then that is true, but if your engagement range is long enough then it is possible. Mind you that the concept is from real observation when shooting arrow at a dear, and unintentionally, the dear suddenly moves its head to avoid the arrow.

But of course it is only feasible with unguided munition.

OTOH, with current armor tech, protection against RPG is easy and lightweight, so it is not that worth.
 

bobbymike

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https://defense-update.com/20180623_gxv-t.html

Several contracts awarded recently marked significant progress in DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program with field demonstrations of projects developed by teams and companies under the Phase 2 of the R&D program. Among the technologies showing much progress are extreme mobility projects and crew augmentation technologies.

The GXV-T program aims to demonstrate how future combat vehicles could improve mobility, survivability, safety, and effectiveness without increasing their armor.
 

fredymac

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The Carnegie Mellon transformer wheel at 2:20 is interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrQrJ57J9eE
 

Nik

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FWIW, those morphing wheels would be very handy for wheel-chairs & mobility aids...
 

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