A DARPA-led team has been working on developing the next generation of advanced battlefield weapons, and it appears the program is finally coming to fruition.
DARPA announced in December that it has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a new “super soldier” concept for the U.S. military.
The idea, first announced by the Department of Defense in 2014, is to deploy “super soldiers” in the field and use them as a force multiplier to help “reduce” the cost of battlefield operations.
The new “warrior” is said to be able to take down a target with its own firepower and with “super-strength” armor.
“The super soldier is the next step in military innovation,” DARPA said in its announcement, describing it as a “highly advanced, self-contained, modular combat platform.”
In a separate announcement this week, DARPA has awarded another contract to the company for an additional two years to develop an advanced “super man” concept, which will use “super strength” armor and “super durability” armor for “enhanced protection against high-impact munitions and direct impacts.”
In the past, the Pentagon has awarded contracts to a number of firms for development of “super warriors” that would be deployed as a permanent force multiplier, a “super” soldier that would wear special equipment, and a “fighter” that could be equipped with a variety of weapons.
The Pentagon’s “super warrior” concept was initially conceived to combat “green” and “greenlight” adversaries in the Middle East, but DARPA now says that it’s targeting a future where “super power” will have “full spectrum capabilities.”
DARPA told reporters in a statement on Thursday that “a new generation of super soldiers” will be developed “to provide the next-generation, survivable, highly mobile, flexible, and flexible fighting force for our soldiers and to help them defeat more advanced and deadly adversaries.”
The new super soldier concept was first described in 2014 in a report from the RAND Corporation, which described how DARPA was developing an advanced soldier that could “provide tactical advantages in a fast-moving battlefield environment.”
DARP said that it would develop “super men” that can “conduct multiple attacks, fight with precision and agility, and provide rapid response to counterattack.”
“The military will need to develop new battlefield capabilities to support the new capabilities and to enhance the ability of the super soldier to conduct complex operations and conduct critical missions,” DARP’s statement continued.
DARP added that it was “investing in the development of new technologies to accelerate the super-strength and super-stability of armor and equipment.”
The “super hero” concept described in the 2014 report is said by DARPA to be a “faster, more agile, lighter, more powerful, more durable, more flexible, more robust, more survivable” weapon system that could provide “precision, agile, and highly survivable attacks against enemy combatant vehicles.”
“In order to ensure that the future super soldier can fulfill its mission of rapid, decisive, and overwhelming, we will be leveraging our existing technologies, partnerships, and partnerships with industry to advance the next super soldier,” DARPM added.
DARPM also said that the “super weapon” would “provides enhanced protection against highly impact-damaging munitions and high-velocity projectiles.”
The Army is already planning to spend “more than $1 billion” to upgrade its fleet of vehicles that have been plagued by accidents.
In addition to the new armored vehicles, the Army is also developing an “advanced command vehicle” to replace the aging command vehicles that the Army currently has in service.
The Army will also “take a long-term approach to its vehicles and their mission readiness” and will “support the development and implementation of next-gen vehicles,” according to DARPA.
The Defense Department has also awarded $200 million to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop “advancing technology” for “a next generation armored vehicle” that “will provide greater mobility, greater survivability, and enhanced capabilities.”
The vehicle will be able “to deploy multiple weapons and provide high-throughput mobility for the soldier,” according the DARPA contract.
DARPa is also working on “new vehicles and systems that will enhance the mobility and survivability of the Army’s command vehicle fleet.”
“We will work with partners to develop advanced technologies for future vehicles and technologies to increase the capabilities of the current command vehicle,” DARPa’s statement said.
The “next generation armored vehicles” DARPA is working on are not expected to be ready for use until 2026, though the Army and DARPA have said that they are working to meet the 2027 deadline.