Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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DARPA Developing Windowless APC so Soldiers Inside can See Better

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(Photo : DARPA) GXV-T

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is developing a windowless armored personnel carrier (APC) whose technologies allow the soldiers inside to see the outside world far better, thus improving their "situational awareness."

This oxymoronic concept is what drives DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program.

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GXV-T aims to create a highly mobile, windowless ground vehicle that can protect troops without relying on excessive armor. DARPA said the advantage of this vehicle is it allows troops to travel with armored protection through various terrains.

Raytheon is developing a platform designed to provide real-time surveillance for soldiers traveling inside the vehicle.

It's developing a "virtual experience" that gives the crews of armored military vehicles greater awareness of what's going on outside the vehicle, while also reducing their vulnerability to attack. Raytheon will create a three-dimensional model of the environment in real time that gives users views of their outside environment not normally possible from inside the vehicle.

The platform will use LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data to create a 3D model of the vehicle's surrounding environment, which will be presented in high-definition. Additional safety precautions will include sensors to alert of any incoming attacks, and blue-force position updates to locate friendly forces.

Raytheon's technology is expected to improve situational awareness while reducing the workload for the crew, allowing them to focus on the most relevant threats and challenges.

The GXV-T program also seeks to disrupt the current trends in mechanized warfare. GXV-T is investigating revolutionary ground-vehicle technologies that will simultaneously improve the mobility and survivability of vehicles through means other than adding more armor.

These methods include avoiding detection, engagement and hits by adversaries.

GXV-T's technical goals include improvements to today's armored fighting vehicles such as reduced vehicle size and weight by 50 percent; increased vehicle speed by 100 percent; the capability to access 95 percent of terrain and reduced signatures that enable adversaries to detect and engage vehicles.

Among the advanced technologies GXV-T plans to develop is "Survivability through Agility." This means autonomously avoiding incoming threats without harming occupants through technologies that enable agile motion and active repositioning of armor. Capabilities of interest include vertical and horizontal movement of armor to defeat incoming threats in real time.

Another tech is "Crew Augmentation" that provides improved physical and electronically assisted situational awareness for crew and passengers. Capabilities of interest include high-resolution, 360 degree visualization of data from multiple onboard sensors and technologies to support closed-cockpit vehicle operations.

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