The ARMY Wants a New, Lighter “Tank” That Can Be Transported by Plane

The ARMY Wants a New, Lighter “Tank” That Can Be Transported by Plane

Kris Osborn

Security, Americas

The future?

Key point: Tanks are heavy and expensive to produce, but a lighter vehicle with long-range fire would be easier to transport and build.

The US Army is taking a substantial next step in the accelerated development of a new Mobile Protected Firepower lightweight armored vehicle – designed to support infantry combat teams in fast-moving combat situations.

The service, which plans to build prototypes in the next several years, is now beginning to evaluate industry proposals for the new vehicle which seeks to combine rapid deployability, maneuverability and maximum survivability for crew members in combat.

Army developers tell Warrior Maven the new armored vehicle is expected to change land war by outmatching Russian equivalents and bringing a new dimension to advancing infantry as it maneuvers toward enemy attack.

Senior developers with the Army Research Laboratory have told Warrior Maven about cutting edge efforts to both lighten weight of combat vehicles while simultaneously emphasizing mobility. In fact, as part of this effort, two MPFs are being built to fit on an Air Force C-17 aircraft.

“Making a vehicle lighter weight and more capable requires a multi-function effort. For instance, you can integrate an antenna into the armor protection,” Karl Kappra, Chief of the Office of Strategy Management for the Army Research Lab, told Warrior Maven in an interview.

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Long-range precision fire, coordinated air-ground assault, mechanized force-on-force armored vehicle attacks and drone threats are all changing so quickly that maneuvering US Army infantry now needs improved firepower to advance on major adversaries in war, Army leaders explain.

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