Smart materials for a next-gen vehicle

December 29, 2003

The Marine Corps' M1A1 Abrams tanks and light armored vehicles that pulled heavy duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom are expected to serve us well until 2015 and 2020. That may sound like a long way off, but it's already time to plan for their replacements.

Actually, the ideal time was about two years ago, when the Office of Naval Research initiated the Expeditionary Systems Material program to develop new materials to increase the survivability of fighting vehicles. The effort will include nano-technologies to make the Marine Corps' future Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) expeditionary family of fighting vehicles (MEFF-V) lighter, tougher, and smarter.

Six contractors developed new material concepts and fabricated small samples during Phase 1 of this three-phase, six-year program through ONR's expeditionary warfare division. Three have been selected for Phase 2 contracts by a Navy-Army multi-service team, based on technical merit and potential for meeting operational goals among other factors.

General Dynamic Land System will develop lightweight high-strength composite materials for the hull and turret of the new vehicle. United Defense LP, will develop embedded sensors and additional capabilities for smart survivable structures. University of California Davis is looking at multi-scale materials (whose characteristics are determined by phenomena on scales ranging from atomic to macroscopic) by developing ultra-high strength aluminum alloys.

Phase 2 will run through 2005. Phase 3 will encompass fabrication and demonstration of the material selected, leading to integration with a vehicle demonstrator.

The Marines plan to field two MEFF-V variants, an assault vehicle to replace the Abrams and a lighter vehicle to accommodate multiple mission-unique modules configured for the full range of missions now carried out by the light armored vehicle variants. ONR program officer Major Tom Young explains, "As we have seen in recent events, inherent survivability of our vehicles is very important. This work we're doing should allow us to provide future vehicles with significant improvement over our current fielded systems."

Office of Naval Research

Related Abrams Articles from Brightsurf:

Cancer-fighting gene restrains 'jumping genes'
About half of all tumors have mutations of the gene p53, normally responsible for warding off cancer.

New model examines how societal influences affect US political opinions
Northwestern University researchers have developed the first quantitative model that captures how politicized environments affect U.S. political opinion formation and evolution.

US political parties become extremist to get more votes
New mathematical modeling shows that US political parties are becoming increasingly polarized due to their quest for voters -- not because voters themselves are becoming more extremist.

Human milk based fortifiers improve health outcomes for the smallest premature babies
More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year, according to the March of Dimes.

Climate scientists increasingly ignore ecological role of indigenous peoples
In their zeal to promote the importance of climate change as an ecological driver, climate scientists increasingly are ignoring the profound role that indigenous peoples played in fire and vegetation dynamics, not only in the eastern United States but worldwide, according to a Penn State researcher.

Life expectancy crisis in the USA: The opioid crisis is not the decisive factor
Cardiovascular diseases -- rather than drug deaths due to the opioid crisis -- have the greatest impact on stagnating life expectancy in the USA.

Most young people do not vape, and even fewer vape regularly
While youth vaping rates have increased in recent years, most middle and high school students don't vape or smoke and very few vape or smoke daily, finds a study led by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health.

Big cities breed partners in crime
Researchers have long known that bigger cities disproportionately generate more crime.

Study: Bigger cities boost 'social crimes'
The same underlying mechanism that boosts urban innovation and startup businesses can also explain why certain types of crimes, like car theft and robbery, thrive in a larger population.

Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern forests
Selective browsing by white-tailed deer has been blamed by many for changing the character and composition of forest understories in the eastern US; however, its impact on the forest canopy was previously unknown.

Read More: Abrams News and Abrams Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to