Video: Future armored ground vehicles could sprint, dodge and shield their way out of danger

September 8, 2014, DARPA

One of the key goals of DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program is improving the survivability of ground-based armored fighting vehicles by increasing vehicle agility. Vehicle agility involves the ability to autonomously avoid incoming threats, either by rapidly moving out of the way or reconfiguring the vehicle so incoming threats have a low probability of hitting and penetrating—all without injuring the occupants in the process. This concept video illustrates three of many potential approaches: active repositioning of armor, burst acceleration and suspensions that would enable the vehicle to dodge.

Ground-based armored fighting vehicles and their occupants have traditionally relied on armor and maneuverability for protection. The amount of armor needed for today's threat environments, however, is becoming increasingly burdensome and ineffective against ever-improving weaponry. GXV-T seeks to develop revolutionary technologies to enable a layered approach to protection that would use less more strategically and improve vehicles' ability to avoid detection, engagement and hits by adversaries. Such capabilities would enable smaller, faster vehicles in the future to more efficiently and cost-effectively tackle varied and unpredictable combat situations.

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1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2014
the age of heavy armor is over. what this video alludes to is that the beginning of the end of the modern heavy armor manned tank. there are no need for manned tanks anymore in the calculus of future warfare.

manned personnel carriers DONT NEED cannons on them, they may or may not need tracks, but probably not.

the future of firepower is more mobile. the tank was faster and better protected than the horse drawn cannon. the future is faster UNMANNED cannons, that are smaller .

if you LIGHTEN the weight of a cannonized vehicle, the need for tracks eventually goes away as large tires become sufficient to float on mud and climb over obstacles.
this further lightens the load and allows for higher speed.

take the human out, thus relieving the design of need for life support systems and MUCH of the armor. the armor no longer protects humans, in a cavity, but a smaller cavity of vital electronics and back up power.

EVERYTHING comes down in weight and speed/acceleration goes up
5 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2014
First impressions:

- Ducking, sprinting, and armor repositioning are all addressing current threats.

- Against rail guns or directed-energy weaponry, I can't imagine any of those features yielding any benefit at all. None of them can react fast enough to make any difference.

- The mistake we always make in R&D is trying to fight the last war, rather than the next.

- We must be careful not to become so focused on low-threat environments - which is what we see when dealing with terrorists or unsophisticated nations - that we are utterly unprepared to confront a high-tech foe.

- We're developing rail guns and directed-energy weapons. Don't have them yet, but they're coming along. If we can do that, so can other high-tech industrial nations. And they will.

Disclaimer: my first impressions aren't always on target.
not rated yet Sep 09, 2014
The supplied video scenario is impressive but I do wonder about the reaction-time allocated to avoid the tank-shot. Reaction here can only begin upon detection of the projectile leaving the canon's barrel and then travelling at a rate of some (I'm guestimating) 1000 fps. The mechanical "ducking" of the GXV-T has to efficiently occur and complete within the travel-time of the projectile - it appears to me that the pulling-down of gravity is a limiting factor here and that the ducking may well be incomplete within the necesssary time-limit.
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2014
More reasons for more people to hate more oil stealing Americans.

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