Tuesday, June 26, 2018

DARPA creates a tracked wheel

This is cool:

Here's the story:
The DARPA Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program has some pretty ambitious goals, all based around the fundamental concept that it’s getting harder and harder for armor vehicles to provide protection against modern weaponry, so instead of heading down a dead-end path to larger, heavier, more cumbersome, expensive, and less maneuverable vehicles, a new path should be taken.

The program lists its very ambitious goals as:
That has to be the most expensive tire ever made, but if they can pull off even half of their goals than it could be cheap.


SiGraybeard said...

I loves me those wheels that go between round and triangular in 2 seconds.

More than that, I love smart designers that come up with this.

If you'll grant me an "old graybeard story", I was working in the defense electronics business when Reagan's Star Wars system was being conceptualized. Some media guys were criticizing the idea and someone said, "it's like shooting a bullet with a bullet" as the epitome of stupid. I remember one of systems designers repeating that to himself, getting that far away look in his eyes and then saying, "yeah, I think I could do that".

Andrew Wetzel said...

To paraphrase JFK, 'we do this thing and the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.'

Light, adaptable and mobile armor using advanced materials and techniques are finally within our grasp. Of course, as soon as we create the ultimate light AFV, those same techniques will be used on heavy AFVs. And we're already pretty darned close to BOLO Mk I, or a light OGRE. (In some respects, the concept vehicles being touted as the new 'mainstream' vehicles by Russia are reaching this point quicker than us. Of course, who really believes Russian marketing?)

As to your statement about "hitting a bullet with a bullet", well, I quite enjoyed watching Sprint and Spartan anti-ballistic missiles make direct-contact kills from 1970 to 1973 (one of the joys of my childhood was watching Sprints sprint.) And people said we had no functioning ABM system... That large concrete pyramid that I used to bike near, that resembles 'AEGIS Ashore' installations today (big building, phased array radar...) didn't work at all, right, pull the other leg, never watched the operators blow up seagulls...

McChuck said...

That actually looks feasible and useful. Unusual for DARPA these days.

Now if we can just get them to reinvent the 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC(mk2), then we'd actually have something.

In an era when main portable missiles can kill any known tank, it doesn't make sense to build 75 ton tanks. Build 40 ton tanks that are faster.