WASHINGTON — A Texas university will be home to a $130 million combat development complex used by Army Futures Command.
Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS campus in Bryan will be the new home to accelerator space, laboratories and offices for the four-star command. The announcement was made in a news release Thursday after the board of regents authorized the contract.
The building will cost Texas A&M System $50 million, according to the release. It will also invest $30 million in infrastructure improvements for the new facility. The remaining $50 million was appropriated by the Texas legislature and will go toward an outdoor testing area at RELLIS.
The complex will include a kilometer-long tunnel that will make Texas A&M Engineering “the hypersonics research capital of the country,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering.
The campus held a robotic combat vehicle prototyping competition in May involving six industry teams with a total of eight vehicles. The event came in anticipation of Army whitepapers and request for prototype proposals for ground vehicle robots.
Gen. John “Mike” Murray, the head of Army Futures Command, said in the release that the command would develop, test and evaluate technology from industry and universities around the country at the facility.
“We are humbled and grateful to the people of Texas, Texas elected leaders, and the Texas A&M University System for the opportunity to further develop our strategic partnership through the establishment of the combat development complex on the RELLIS Campus,” he said. “This effort will certainly prove vital as we work together to discover, develop, and test ideas and concepts that will help our Soldiers, and our future Soldiers, to protect America’s tomorrows — beginning today.”
Army Futures Command is based in Austin, Texas.
Kelsey Reichmann is a general assignment editorial fellow supporting Defense News, Fifth Domain, C4ISRNET and Federal Times. She attended California State University.