ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD — To prepare for the future battlefield, the Army has defined a concept for its next generation of combat vehicles. These vehicles, encompassing a family of new platforms, will have advanced capabilities to ensure continued overmatch against adversaries for decades and beyond. Enhanced survivability is critical for these vehicles and will be enabled by improved designs, materials, and manufacturing processes.
Today, combat vehicle hulls are typically fabricated from thick armor plates that are manually welded together. Numerous weld passes are required at each weld seam, so it can take several days to weld together a base vehicle hull. While advanced welding technologies to reduce the number of weld passes have been tested and proven, many are deemed too hazardous to be performed by hand.