Known as the Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program, this experimental vehicle is less like the traditional heavily armored brutes typically on the battlefield.

Here we see the Multi-mode Extreme Travel Suspension (METS), part of the GXV-T program. Developed by Pratt & Miller, it is a special chassis with innovative solutions designed to improve mobility, survivability and crew safety and performance without piling on armor. Among other things, it features a brand new wheel designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’ (DARPA) that could make the pain of rough terrain a thing of the past.

“For mobility, we’ve taken a radically different approach by avoiding armor and developing options to move quickly and be agile over all terrain.”

We look forward to working with the services to transition these technologies into ground vehicle technologies of the future.”

– DARPA GXV-T head Maj. Amber Walker said in a June 22 release on the program’s most recent demonstrations.

It also features motors directly inside the wheels, which offers numerous potential benefits for combat vehicles, such as heightened acceleration and maneuverability with optimal torque, traction, power, and speed over rough or smooth terrain.

According to DARPA, GXV-T seeks to investigate revolutionary ground-vehicle technologies that would simultaneously improve the mobility and survivability of vehicles through means other than adding more armor, including avoiding detection, engagement and hits by adversaries. The GXV-T are helping to defy ‘the more armor equals better protection’ axiom that has constrained armored ground vehicle design for the past 100 years’.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps have expressed interest in future METS capabilities. On the basis of the new chassis, it is possible to create a whole family of unique combat vehicles, including robotic platforms.