Tag Archives: Military Vehicles

Survey of Modular Military Vehicles: Benefits and Burdens

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Jean M. Dasch and David J. Gorsich

Modularity in military vehicle design is generally considered a positive attribute that promotes adaptability, resilience, and cost savings. The benefits and burdens of modularity are considered by studying historical programs dating back to World War II. Using a taxonomy developed at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, vehicles were considered based on horizontal modularity, vertical modularity, and distributed modularity. Examples were given for each type, including the most extensive attempt at horizontal modularity in the 1980s, known as the Armored Family of Vehicles. Following these examples, various cost/benefit studies over the life cycle of the vehicle are reviewed with differing conclusions depending on the initial assumptions. Finally, a number of design factors are included that should be considered in any program on modular vehicles, as well as some recent initiatives that guide the path forward.

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