Article Lead Image

DARPA wants you to design its new amphibious tank

Many will enter, few—with actual military design experience, most likely—will win.


Kevin Morris


Posted on May 23, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 3:04 pm CDT

The Department of Defense’s cash-rich research arm, DARPA, is dangling millions of dollars in front of the entire Internet.

They want you, anonymous dude with a computer, to help design their next generation super-high tech amphibious tank, the laboriously titled “Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle” (we’re sure it’s just a coincidence that spells out the acronym FANG).

This particular FANG needs to be able to traverse at least 12 miles of open water at 8 knots an hour while loaded to the brim with heavy weapons and 17 marines (at least 17). Teams from all over the U.S. have already completed the first round of the competition, which tasked them with designing the vehicle’s drivetrain. The winning design was  submitted by a team of three people working in three different cities. They bagged $1 million for the work (pictured above).

We presume there’s a lot more to the design than a pretty picture. But, not surprisingly, DARPA is keeping mostly mum about what are pretty much top secret designs—civilian-made or not. The next phase of the competition will focus on the chassis, followed by the vehicle as a whole. The winner of that one competition gets a cool $2 million.

But before you whip out your best camouflage MS Paint color palettes, be warned: The competition may be open to anyone, but not just anyone can win. That winning design above was made by a father and son and their family friend—all of whom had experience in the defense industry.

So perhaps it’s more accurate to think of this competition as top tier military ODesk.

Photo via DARPA

Share this article
*First Published: May 23, 2013, 6:23 pm CDT