DARPA unveils program to bring advanced capabilities to infantry squads


The Department of Defense’s innovative agency DARPA is working towards taking Squad X Core technologies (SXCT) used in U.S. military’s combat vehicles and modifying them so they can be utilized by military ground troops.

According to FOX News, DARPA is aiming to build combat power from the rifle squad up with SXCT.  Without sharing too many details, the agency indicated that its goal is to revolutionize the capabilities of U.S. infantry squads.  SXCT is taking new and advance technology and making it more compact, light-weight and soldier-friendly.

By losing the heavy hardware and currently burdensome equipment, SXCT will allow troops disembarking military vehicles, such as ships and tanks, to attain tactical superiority over their enemies.

DARPA believes that the new technology will help squads achieve more flexibility and equip them with the ability to rapidly change to meeting challenging environments.  It is designed to allow squads to dominate the battle ground by turning it into the setting that meets their strategic needs.

Right now, troops enjoy the benefit of technological advances when battling from military aircraft, ships and ground vehicles.  However, when they leave these vessels, they lose this advantage because of the large size and heavy weight of the equipment capable of providing these advanced innovations.

FOX News reported that to lessen the physical burden placed on troops, the SXCT program is working towards giving troops access to the same advanced technology on the ground that they have when aboard military combat vehicles.  To achieve this goal, the equipment must be versatile and lightweight.

It is already estimated that soldiers carry around 100 pounds of gear during ground warfare.  It would be virtually impossible to burden troops with the added weight of additional technology.  As it stands already, one of the Army’s top technological challenges is overcoming the weight load of equipment as it causes extreme physical strain and fatigue in troops.

The SXCT program is striving to lessen physical burdens put on troops and give them advanced, yet still lightweight, equipment.

“SXCT aims to help dismounted infantry squads have deep awareness of what’s around them, detect threats from farther away and, when necessary, engage adversaries more quickly and precisely than ever before,” said DARPA program manager Maj. Christopher Orlowski at the program announcement.  “We are working towards advanced capabilities that would make dismounted infantry squads more adaptable, safe and effective.”

According to FOX News, the SXCT program is looking at four key military tech advances –precision engagement, non-kinetic engagement, squad sensing, and squad autonomy.  It will be a multi-year, multi-phase technology development program.

SXCT Concept Image

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