recommended reading

Can you build a combat vehicle through crowdsourcing? The Pentagon seems to think so.

The Stryker armored vehicle is used currently.

The Stryker armored vehicle is used currently. // Dinesh Gupta/AP

The Pentagon’s venture capital arm awarded a $9.8 million contract to engineering consultancy Ricardo to aid efforts to create a new heavy and potentially amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, contract documents show.

The funding came out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program called Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle. The project aims to use crowdsourcing to build a combat vehicle. A series of challenges inviting nontraditional players to take part would culminate in progressively more complex vehicle designs. A consultant or research laboratory would integrate the ideas tapped from a variety of participants.

DARPA envisions awarding $4 million in prize money to winning teams in three challenges, according to documents.

DARPA is being deliberately coy about the kinds of ideas it is soliciting, the agency said. For the first challenge, which involves designing mobility and drive train systems, “DARPA has intentionally avoided a precise specification of the scope of the mobility and drivetrain subsystems of an IFV [infantry fighting vehicle] for fear of precluding particularly innovative designs that challenge subsystem boundaries,” solicitation documents show.

Earlier this year, Ricardo announced that it had been tapped to develop a database of component models involving the drivetrain and mobility sub-systems for a military vehicle. Ricardo did not immediately respond to further queries.

A full vehicle product is anticipated by fiscal 2015. DARPA said it is expecting to award up to $30 million for the program.

The experiment would leverage vehicleforge.mil, a crowdsourcing site in development to promote collaboration on systems designs “in a manner similar to forge sites in widespread use today for the development of software by the open source community,” according to documents.

A concurrent DARPA program, called Instant Foundry Adaptive Through Bits, will be tapped to help create the final vehicle. It aims to support development of a manufacturing capability to rapidly fabricate military ground vehicles.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.