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Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center

Laboratory Information:

Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
6501 E. 11 Mile Road
Warren, MI 48397
Technology Transfer Website:
Agency/Department: Dept. of Defense - Army
Region: Midwest

FLC Laboratory Representative:

Mr. Peter DiSante
Phone: (586) 282-8958
Fax: (586) 282-6027

Background/History of the Laboratory:

In the early 1940s, the Army's 1.3 million-square-foot Detroit Arsenal was built in just seven months. The facility had a single purpose: to build quality tanks. The Army chose the site for the arsenal because of the area's wealth of automotive technology and manufacturing capability.

In 1946, the Tank-Automotive Components Laboratory, now known as the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), was formed at the recommendation of a committee led by Chrysler Corporation's President K.T. Keller. This committee comprised of leading engineers from Chrysler, Continental Aviation & Engineering, Ethyl, Ford, General Motors, Hudson Motor Car, International Harvester, Packard, Studebaker and Timken Detroit Axle determined that Detroit would be an ideal location for a military automotive laboratory. The newly created Components Laboratory spawned many successful collaborative working relationships.

With more than 60 percent of U.S. automotive engineers living and working in Michigan, TARDEC resides in the heart of a concentrated source of automotive intellectual property unmatched anywhere in the country. TARDEC is the Ground Systems Enterprise hub for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, and is the Department of Defense's (DOD’s) lead laboratory for Ground Systems Integration. TARDEC’s goal is to accelerate automotive technology research and development and provide engineering solutions for DOD’s tactical ground vehicle fleet and intelligent ground systems.

Mission of the Laboratory:

  • Provides full life-cycle engineering support and is provider-of-first-choice for all DOD ground combat and combat support vehicle systems;
  • Develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve Current Force effectiveness and provide superior capabilities for the Future Force.
As part of the TARDEC organization, the National Automotive Center (NAC) is responsible for advancing the emphasis on collaboration. This is accomplished by working with private industry to leverage commercial automotive technologies for military use.

TARDEC’s Warren, Mich. operation has a resource value of over $950 million and occupies 12 facilities on the Detroit Garrison totaling over 840,000 square feet of laboratory space. Facilities include: system & simulation integration laboratories; survivability laboratories; physical simulation laboratories; fuels & lubricants laboratories; and prototype integration facility.


Technology Transfer Mechanisms:

  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)
  • Education Partnership Agreements
  • Patent License Agreements
  • Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
  • Test Services Agreements

Technology Areas of Expertise:

  • Ground Vehicle Power & Mobility Integration
  • Intelligent Ground Systems
  • Survivability Integration
  • Tactical Movement of Force Projection Technologies
  • Vehicle Electronics & Architecture Integration