Armored vehicles like tanks and Humvees are not exactly renowned for their agility. But the US military is looking to change that. It's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the same agency whose research led to the development of the internet, has for the past few years been working on a program to build new types of armored vehicles that are both stronger and lighter than current options — all the better to avoid enemy rocket fire.
Specifically, the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GTX-V) program is looking for military contractors to submit proposals for vehicles that can go on "95 percent of terrain," reduce the weight, size, and number of crew members compared to current vehicles by 50 percent, all while increasing the speed by 100 percent. The agency plans to announce the winning proposals by April 2015.
As it turns out, DARPA believes the resulting vehicles will probably look like giant ATVs, similar to the Warthog, the fictional reconnaissance vehicle from the Halo series of video games. Just check out the following concept video the agency posted on YouTube yesterday and tell us Master Chief and the Spartans would not be at home rolling around in one. An amusing, if scary thought, if you're someone who fears the increasing gamification of warfare.