• Image - Maneuver Thrust

Maneuver Maneuver Thrust Area

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Maneuver thrust explores technologies to increase the warfighting capabilities and effectiveness of the Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force with emphasis on improving survivability and enhancing maneuver and maneuver-enabling systems in both decentralized and asymmetric warfare. Marine forces of the future will be significantly more agile, lethal, mobile and survivable. This thrust's technology investment areas include:

  • Survivability: Providing survivability within the battlefield in order to support expeditionary maneuver warfare. Specific emphasis is placed on enhanced armor materials, which will reduce vulnerability to mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) while reducing weight; active protection systems, which provide active and pulsed-power protection systems; and crew protection, which includes shock mitigating seats and crew-based survivability metrics.
  • Advanced Mobility: Increasing operational tempo and gaining temporal dominance in order to achieve positional advantage. Specific research efforts emphasize fuel efficiency and battlefield power for on-board vehicle power generation and highly efficient power train components in order to extend tactical operating range and logistic tether; and advanced suspensions and drivetrains in order to increase speed and agility across rough terrain.
  • Maneuver Enablers: Providing maneuver-enabling technologies to separate warfighters from potentially hazardous missions and to increase efficiency and economy of force. Specific interests includes  developing novel user interfaces and decision aids in order to enhance crew capability (situational awareness), and unmanned and autonomous systems to displace the operator from hazardous conditions/environments, lightening the load of individual Marines, and providing greater warfighting capability (unmanned vehicles and autonomous systems).

Maneuver S&T Challenges

Autonomous Systems

  • Technologies to improve machine vision and perception in complex terrestrial environments to include object detection and classification using only low-cost, vision-based sensors
  • Algorithms to enable real-time unmanned system, advanced autonomous behavior(s) to include dealing with environmental inconsistencies, near and far-field adaptive path planning and both context based and inductive/deductive reasoning skills
  • Systems to enable an unmanned vehicle to dynamically generate high-level situational awareness models of the current situation which includes information not organic to the vehicle itself or generated by existing on platform sensors
  • Significantly improved thermal management and power density electro-mechanical power supplies and propulsion systems for small unmanned ground vehicles, robots and exoskeletons

Fuel Efficiency

  • Fuel efficiency enabling technologies for Marine Corps combat and tactical off-road ground vehicles to include fuel additive or alternative fuel technologies


  • Adaptive and passive systems to reduce the signature of Naval Ground Vehicles in the visible, IR and RF spectrum while stationary or moving, in day or night, in all weather conditions
  • Sensor systems and control software to detect, classify and handoff acquisition information to various kill mechanisms to protect Naval Ground Vehicles and small boats

The Expeditionary Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department welcomes innovative ideas and white papers in response to the ONR long-range broad agency announcement.

Download the Maneuver Thrust area's Willful Intent slides.

Contact Information

Name: Jeff Bradel

Title: Thrust Manager

Department: Department

Division: Division

Email: jeff.bradel@navy.mil


* Some pages on this website provide links which require a plug in to view.