BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — On Sept. 30, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) transitioned from the $65 million cooperative agreement awarded in 2019 to an up to $96.2 million, five-year contract from the U.S. Army for its George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC) to continue research and technology development in support of critical military modernization priorities through 2026.
The contract proposal, titled “High-Impact Mission-Oriented Research and Innovation,” is focused on continued innovation in five technology areas:
- Laser Diagnostics for Hypersonics and Directed Energy
- Rapid Design of Hypersonic Vehicles
- Materials for Extreme Environments
- Coordinated Air-Ground Vehicle Maneuvering
- Resilient Real-time Network Architectures for Autonomous Vehicle Communications
The contract agreement between the Army and TEES authorizes up to $96.2 million in research expenditures and allows for research efforts that may also be of interest to other government agencies/organizations.
The approach for research conducted by subject matter experts at BCDC supports multi-disciplinary engineering research, coupled with The Texas A&M University System’s cutting-edge facilities at its RELLIS Campus, and demonstrates how TEES is proving itself as a committed partner in military modernization efforts.
“Over the past two years, our strategic partnership with Army Futures Command has proven valuable as we work together on solutions for Army modernization research priorities,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M University president and vice chancellor for national security initiatives. “Our vision for BCDC has become a reality and we are proud to collaborate with the Army to protect our nation, both now and into the future.”
TEES established BCDC in 2019 through a three-part investment of more than $200 million between the Army Futures Command, with $65 million for research and research equipment; the Texas Legislature, with $50 million for instrumentation of a test-bed known as the Innovation Proving Ground (IPG) as well as a Ballistic-Aero optic and Materials (BAM) hypersonic test-range; and the Texas A&M System, for capital construction of a facility known as the Research Integration Center.
The Research Integration Center, commonly known as the RIC, serves as the headquarters for BCDC and as a research facility primarily designed for developing and evaluating autonomous systems. The RIC was completed last month (within two years of its groundbreaking). Construction is well underway for the IPG (to be fully operational by fall 2022) and an initial stage of the BAM (to be complete by spring 2023). Together, this ecosystem of researchers and facilities is becoming one of the top state-of-the-art national security-related research and testing organizations in the U.S.
“We are pleased with the confidence that Army shows in the Texas A&M System,” Chancellor John Sharp said. “This contract illustrates that we are well on the way to deliver a world-class testing complex, which will accelerate military innovation for generations to come.”
Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-17) applauded the new contract.
“I am proud of Chancellor Sharp and President Banks for working with the Department of Defense to bring these federal dollars home to develop hypersonic systems and networked autonomous vehicles for the U.S. Army at the RELLIS Campus in Bryan,” Sessions said. “I am fully supportive as the university expands its capacity to provide our U.S. military with important technologies that also will boost industrial and economic development here in the 17th Congressional District of Texas.”
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