DARPA is working on building a new infantry fighting vehicle for the Marines, and it’s not patient.Instead of going through conventional design channels with an extended timetable, the branch of the Department of defence responsible for military innovation is turning to the public.
The FANG Design Challenges are open to anyone who feels capable of creating the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG).
This is a new way of doing things for the military, says Army Lt. Col Nathan Wiedenman, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office:
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 defence industry. 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.
There will be three competitions: the first to design the vehicle’s drivetrain, the second its chassis, and the third the whole thing. Stages one and two come with a $1 million prize; the purse for the final round is double that.
Entries are scored by an online feedback system. Those turned in early can be scored, revised, and resubmitted. Registration for the first of the three challenges, open only to US citizens and lawful residents, is now open.
The winning entry of each round will be built in the iFAB Foundry, a DARPA manufacturing network. The final design will be submitted to the Marine Corps for review.
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