Pentagon scientists DARPA 'revolutionise' tanks with hi-tech design

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a research arm for the US military, has released a statement that will "revolutionise" tank design.

Titled the "Ground X-Vehicle Technology" (GXV-T) project, DARPA scientists are working toward bettering tanks through improving mobility, detection and overall survivability, rather than adding thicker, stronger armour.

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Kevin Massey, DARPA programme manager, said "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." DARPA's plan includes; halving the size, weight, and crew of modern tanks, doubling the speed of current tanks, enabling the tanks to "access 95 per cent of terrain," and to make the tanks harder to detect. A statement from DARPA said: "This improved mobility and warfighting capability would enable future US ground forces to more efficiently and cost-effectively tackle varied and unpredictable combat situations."

The programme goals become that much more ambitious when you realise that the US tank currently in service, the M1 Abrams, weighs between 54 tonnes and 62 tonnes and already has a top speed of 45 mph.

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DARPA is also allegedly working on a flying car, a powered exo-skeleton, a weapon system with a global range and a robot that behaves like an earthworm. Some of DARPA's previous inventions include: Siri, GPS and Onion routing.

Massey also said that DARPA would like to "help make future armored fighting vehicles significantly more mobile, effective, safe and affordable."