New Concepts for U.S. Combat Vehicle Systems

by William J. Whelan

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This publication describes a research effort which examined a new approach for developing land combat vehicle systems. The research focused specifically on new tank systems. The report begins with a summary of the asserted needs for significant increases in the capabilities of current combat vehicle systems. Next, a generic concept development approach based on the idea of distributed vehicle systems with unmanned subsystems is described and related to R&D challenges. The approach is used to generate a distributed tank concept, TEARS (Tank Effectiveness Augmentation by Remote Subsystems). The TEARS concept is explored from several aspects, including combat engagement capabilities, technological feasibility, and affordability. Last, a TEARS technology development and demonstration program is outlined.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.