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US Army asks startups to deliver next-generation weapons

It's probably hoping to find new technologies its big contractors might not think of.

While the US Army already works with huge military contractors, it still wants to make sure that it won't miss the chance nab new technologies developed by small businesses. That's why it has launched the Army Expeditionary Technology Search or xTechSearch, which will give "nontraditional defense partners" the chance to work with the military division. xTechSearch is a four-phase competition that promises a $200,000 cash prize for the final winner to be announced in April 2019. It's soliciting innovative technologies the army could use, such as next-gen combat vehicles that can replace tanks.

The competition is also looking for new technologies that reduce the cost of missile defense, as well as innovations that can "enhance [soldier] lethality in close combat." By launching this challenge, the army is likely hoping to find a gem it wouldn't have found otherwise, something big corporations might not think of -- something born out of necessity to innovate due to lack of funds and access to resources. The challenge is open to all small businesses and is now accepting all technology proposals until July 11th, 2018.