Meet Squad X
DARPA is pushing ahead with a brave new world of innovative concepts for the future dismounted Army and Marine squad/section/fireteam in what they term their Squad X Experimentation.
The program intends to lay the foundation for breakthrough technologies and capabilities that would:
-Improve shared situational understanding of the multi-domain operational environment: physical, electromagnetic and cyber.
-Increase the time and space in which squads can maneuver through optimized use of physical, cognitive and material resources.
-Shape and dominate the battlespace through synchronization of fire and maneuvering in all three domains.
“Through Squad X, we want to vastly improve dismounted squad effectiveness in all domains by integrating new and existing technologies into systems that squads can bring with them,” said Maj. Christopher Orlowski, DARPA program manager. “The squad is the formation with the greatest potential for impact and innovation, while having the lowest barrier to entry for experimentation and system development. The lessons we learn and the technology we create could not only transform dismounted squads’ capabilities, but also eventually help all warfighters more intuitively understand and control their complex mission environments.”
Imagery released in association with the program, for which they intend to hold a Proposer’s Day next month, show Joes/Devils outfitted with next gen armor, carrying M4/416-ish looking small arms, using small multi-rotor UAVs to sense bad guys through walls, have gear packed by robotic mules, popping enemy UAVs out of the sky with tiny guided missiles from a underslung grenade launcher (PIKE anyone?) , and are driven around in armed/autonomous LTATV quads.