A Cool Million for FANG Design

The task is to design and engineer drive train and mobility systems to collaboratively design elements of a new amphibious infantry vehicle: FANG, the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, recently announced a new challenge with a lucrative prize: $1 million. The task is to design and engineer drive train and mobility systems to collaboratively design elements of a new amphibious infantry vehicle: FANG, the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle. This is the first of three FANG Challenges, beginning in January 2013. The winning team will be awarded a $1 million cash prize and will have its design built in the iFAB Foundry.

"Each of the three planned challenges will focus on increasingly complex vehicle subsytems and eventually on the design of a full, heavy amphibious infantry fighting vehicle that conforms to the requirements of the Marine Corps' Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). In the course of the design challenges, participants will test DARPA's META design tools and its VehicleFORGE collaboration environment, with the ultimate goal of demonstrating that the development timetable for a complex defense system can be compressed by a factor of five," according to the federal agency's announcement.

"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 defense industry," said Army Lt. Col Nathan Wiedenman, program manager in DARPA's Tactical Technology Office. "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."

The primary goal of FANG "is to fundamentally alter the way systems are designed by decoupling design and fabrication and using foundry-style manufacturing to compress the development process timeline," according to the agency.

For more information or to register for the first of the FANG Challenges, go to vehicleforge.org.

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