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The Texas A&M Board of Regents Approves $79.3M Amendment for Bush Combat Development Complex

Bush Combat Development Complex
Bush Combat Development Complex
BRYAN, TX — The Texas A&M Board of Regents voted to amend the system’s capital budget, adding $79.3 million to build the nation’s largest enclosed-tube hypersonic testing facility as well as testing grounds for both air and land combat vehicles at the RELLIS campus. The facilities are key to accomplishing the Austin-based U.S. Army Futures Command’s modernization mission by allowing soldiers from Fort Hood and the A&M Corps of Cadets to test high-tech prototypes as they are being developed.

“This is a historic vote,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Today’s vote will not only transform Texas A&M and the RELLIS campus, it will transform Central Texas and the U.S. Army.”

The Bush Combat Development Complex will be a full complement of facilities, equipment, and instrumentation consisting of the Innovation Proving Ground (IPG); Research Integration Center (RIC); Ballistic, Aero-optics, and Materials (BAM); and the Technology Innovation and Modernization Catalyst (TIMC).

The IPG will provide a challenging outdoor test site for autonomous aerial, ground, and subterranean vehicles. The technological systems involved are highly complex, involving networks and sensors and innovative operating systems.

The RIC will be an innovation hub where researchers, students, industry, government, and the military can collaborate to create emerging technologies that will modernize the Army. The use of high-tech maker spaces will lead to product development that is tested and evaluated by soldiers, allowing for continual and real-time design feedback.

The BAM will be a facility in which hypersonics and directed energy research will be conducted. BAM will feature an above-ground tunnel that is one kilometer long and two meters in diameter with integrated sensors. The BAM will also have laboratories, runways, underground and open-air battlefields, and a resilient network of sensors and systems for data collection, analysis, and storage. In addition to BAM’s use by the AFC, it will be available to other military branches and defense contractors.

The TIMC will support the management and transfer of intellectual property and technology to industry for commercial applications. The facility will provide space for early stage technology ventures, business services, commercialization training, and startup launch support services to inventors and innovators.

Army Futures Command has tasked Texas A&M System researchers to focus on several key areas. Specifically, the research will address hypersonic and laser systems; materials for withstanding hypervelocity blasts; coordinated maneuvering of air and ground vehicles; and resilient computer networks for autonomous vehicles to share up-to-the-moment battlefield information.

The target date for completion of the BCDC’s Innovative Proving Ground and Research Innovation Center is June 2021.
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