The US Army plans to establish a “center of excellence” to conduct R&D of nanometer-scale science and technology to enhance the performance of the individual soldier.
With the Army scheduled to award a contract in March 2002, the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) will be established and funded by the service with funding of $10 million/year. The main objective is to lighten the soldier’s load by means of systems integration and the use of multi-function devices, while increasing his survivability and lethality.
The center will be established at a university and will emphasize research into materials that could be incorporated in a future advanced soldier’s uniform. The host university will provide a dedicated facility for the UARC and will commit infrastructure, resources and personnel to match the government investment. It will also create cooperative partnerships with industry to convert technical innovations into prototypes for assessment and potentially production.
The effort will implement the findings and recommendations of the Objective Force Warrior Technology Assessment review team, which reported in November 2000. The team found that the current vision for a future soldier could not be realized within this decade without a significant restructuring program.