These concept images for a flying Humvee look like something out a futuristic science-fiction movie, but the Pentagon's research and development arm, DARPA, has put together a $64-million program to start developing them for troops overseas.
"[M]ilitary chiefs believe the American-made vehicle, complete with rotor blades and wings, could transform the fortunes of soldiers fighting the Taliban," the Daily Mail reported this morning. "It would be similar to a Humvee vehicle for patrolling on the ground but could turn into a helicopter at the touch of a button in an emergency."
The vehicle is expected to reach speeds of up to 65 mph on the ground or 150 mph in the air. With ballistic-proof windows and lightweight composite anti-blast armor, the Humvee would protect up to four servicemen or women from IED blasts, gunfire and missiles. It's also outfitted with machineguns and cannons for defense.
The Transformer, a prototype of the vehicle, is expected to be ready for testing by 2015. "We are seeking to combine the advantages of ground vehicles and helicopters into a single vehicle equipped with flexibility of movement," a DARPA spokesman told the Daily Mail. "The concept is to provide options to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions."
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