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The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investing nearly $64 million to develop an armored land vehicle that will be able to go airborne to better cross rugged terrain and avoid roadside hazards. The government hopes to develop a vehicle that will be able to takeoff or land vertically and utilize automatic flight controls to negate the need for pilot training. A prototype vehicle, called Transformer, or TX, looks like a cross between a Humvee and an Apache and is being prepared for an expected complete date of 2015. TX will be able to carry four service members and uses composite armor to protect its occupants from gunfire, IEDs, and missiles. The TX will be able to hit speeds of 65 mph on land and up to 150 mph once in flight and has a range of 280 miles in either mode. Cost per unit is expected to be near $200,000.


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