Thursday, 4 October 2012

DARPA Launches FANG Next-Gen Vehicle Challenge

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a new series of challenges to design the US Marine Corps' next-generation amphibious vehicle.

There'll be three elements of the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle) Challenges and the first opened to applicants on 2 October 2012. The application process will last for the rest of 2012 before the FANG Challenges actually get underway early next year.

At the contest's conclusion, the winners will see their design brought to life and will also be paid $1,000,000.

DARPA FANG Challenges

Each DARPA FANG Challenge will home in on the technical intricacies involved in designing complex, high-performance military troop-carriers and, as they progress their designs, the competitors will put the research agency's META design tools through their paces as they try to beat the standard modern-day armoured vehicle development timeframe five-fold.

The DARPA FANG Challenges will wrap up in 2014, at which point a full vehicle design should have emerged. Potentially, a prototype of the winning design will then go on to be trialled by US Marine Corps representatives in the service's quest for a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

FANG Next-Gen Vehicles

There's not many limitations concerning who can apply to take part in the FANG next-gen vehicle challenges, but the agency does call for ‘innovators with expertise in designing and engineering drivetrain and mobility systems.'
"FANG is applying a radical approach to the design and manufacture of a military ground vehicle while seeking to engage innovators outside of the traditional defense industry", explained US Army representative Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Wiedenman. "By tapping fresh ideas and innovation, we are striving to fundamentally alter the way systems are designed, built and verified to significantly improve DoD's capacity to handle complexity, something that has rapidly outpaced DoD's existing 1960s-era approaches to managing it", added Wiedenman, who's also DARPA's Tactical Technology Office program manager.

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