A number of NATO nations have initiated, or are planning, programmes of work to develop a new generation of armoured fighting vehicles. New technologies provide the potential for a paradigm shift in terms of vehicle capabilities, enhancing performance and breaking the traditional spiral of increasing weight.
The solution space for future armoured vehicles is wide and encompasses the use exploitation of novel technologies such as active protection systems and directed energy weapons along with the use of a mix of both manned and unmanned platforms.
Future solutions will be optimised through understanding the interactions between technologies, system level concepts and Military Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTPs).
The Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT) Panel Specialists’ Meeting (AVT-265) on ‘Integrated Virtual NATO Vehicle Development’ executed in Spring 2017 and focused on vehicle and component performance modelling and highlighted computationally based design as a key enabler to shorten design cycles. It noted that available tools vary in application, depth and accuracy and that an overall (and comparable) development process is not yet in place.
A further challenge with vehicle development is the need to understand requirements and how novel concepts and technologies impact on what can be achieved in terms of vehicle capabilities and then how the operational use of the platforms will impact on effectiveness. This ET will explore how performance modelling can be built on to develop methods to investigate the trades between technologies, concepts and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) and hence how new and novel concepts can be reflected in user requirements. This will allow innovative solutions to be exploited with low operational risk. In developing the tools novel/game changing technologies can be explored and areas for further joint technology research and risk reduction identified.