The George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC), located on the 2,000-acre RELLIS Campus, is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Army Futures Command and The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the State of Texas. The $200 million complex includes four interconnected and adjacent facilities. It will bring together researchers from U.S. universities, the military and the private sector for collaboration, demonstrations and high-tech testing of initiatives to help accelerate military innovation.
The BCDC is named for the nation’s 41st president, whose life of leadership and public service helped freedom-loving nations prevail against oppression. He and First Lady Barbara Bush are buried nearby at Texas A&M University in College Station on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
BAM will be the nation’s largest enclosed hypersonic and directed energy test range. It will be one kilometer long and two meters in diameter, with instrumentation to evaluate high-energy lasers, hypersonic flight and the hypervelocity impact on protective materials. BAM will fill a critical infrastructure gap for large-scale prototype testing. Expected groundbreaking: February 2021; completion: October 2022.
The outdoor test range will host highly instrumented experiments on a wide range of prototypes. The focus initially will be autonomous aerial, ground and subterranean vehicles and smart systems, equipment and instruments for instant, secure and resilient communications in battlefield conditions. Expected groundbreaking: May 2021; completion: May 2022.
The command center to direct and evaluate testing on the BCDC grounds and at other facilities. It will feature a wall of video feeds, thermal imagery, data streams, analytics and map overlays for real-time analysis. Data will be stored and curated. The RIC will house offices for researchers, including U.S. Army personnel, as well as laboratories, a machine shop and makerspaces for product development. Groundbreaking: October 2019; expected completion: August 2021.
Civilian inventors, entrepreneurs and other innovators will operate with the support of leading national experts at the 20,000-square-foot, high-tech incubator. TIMC will offer startup space, business services and help connect innovators with potential partners.
Cost: $200 million total
- $85 million from the Texas A&M System
- $65 million from the U.S. Army Futures Command for research and equipment
- $50 million designated by the Texas Legislature in 2019 for the IPG
For more information:
For an in-depth look at the BCDC and the Texas A&M research initiatives that have applications for military modernization, see the 2020 special edition of the Texas A&M Engineer magazine.
Director of Communications
The Texas A&M University System