By Debbie Gregory.
A small group of Army engineers are addressing an age-old problem with tanks: visibility, or, rather, the lack of it.
The tank has dominated battlefields for the last 100 years. Heavily armed and heavily armored, tanks have repeatedly proven themselves on the battlefield, even in the face of repeated challenges from other weapons such as bazookas, anti-tank guns, and even guided missiles.
In order to provide complete visibility, as well as first-rate protection to the vehicle crew, engineers have come up with the Multi-Functional Video Display (MVD) blast-proof video system.
The MVD system is being tested on the Medium Mine Protected Vehicle (MMPV) Type II at Fort Leonard Wood.
In development for the last two years, the MVD system efficiently distributes images and sensor control simultaneously to all crew stations within the vehicle. This gives a single touch-screen display for each crew station the capability of viewing and controlling all vehicle enablers. With additional eyes on each video feed, situational awareness increases proportionally.
Along with image display, the MVD system can also act as a digital video recorder, allowing for the capture and playback of video sequences and snapshots.
The MVD technology is completely government-owned and developed, is hardware-independent, which enables it to run on numerous platforms.
Other future advancements for tanks may include shedding the heavy armor while still providing a high level of protection, robotics, and directed energy weapons, particularly lasers and rail guns with smaller energy requirements could be used against unmanned aerial vehicles and other enemy threats.