On Wednesday, the U.S. military confirmed that it had delivered eight robotic combat vehicle (RCV) prototypes that would be used in a series of soldier touchpoints to advance the military’s study mission.
The fourth and final RCV (medium) prototype was sent to the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command (Devcom) Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC), based in Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, according to a recent service news release. 1st GVSC had earlier delivered four RCV (light) prototypes on December 20, 2010.
“These prototypes are built using what we have learned to date RCVs and give us the opportunity to move the CRC campaign forward. The prototypes will be used by soldiers in operational experiments to develop strategies, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that our brigade combat team has mandated and unmanned teams (MUM-T), ”said Major General Ross Kaufman, director of the next-generation combat ride cross-functional team.
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While all variants are payload agnostic and are equipped with various modular mission payloads – such as chemical, biological, radiological and molecular detection kits, smoke obscure modules, electronic warfare and various weapon systems – light version, under 10 tonne, possibly to support Tolaun related missions. Can; Medium, below 15 tons, can support direct fire increase; And heavy, 20-25 tons can bring decisive lethality to its designated unit.
RCVs are now in government possession, working to integrate autonomy into the system, pair them with their own controlled control vehicles, and take steps to test vehicles to prepare them for the Arrested Military Operational Experiment (SOE). In the summer of 2022.
“We are excited about the delivery of the final RCV (M) prototype,” said GVSC Director Mike Cadieux. “We are working closely with vendors, with industry, to integrate our government-owned and managed autonomy software into these platforms, I think, is the ideal model to provide our colleagues and customers and ultimately soldiers, believing that vehicles are evolving properly. ”
This summer both RCV (L) and RCV (M) vehicles are undergoing shakedown tests in operation simultaneously, and finally mission capable technology demonstrators (MET-D) with ground vehicle capability testing that serve as RCV control. Ride during the test. MET-Ds are technology development tools that help the military evaluate emerging technologies in a relevant strategic environment and help decide whether new technology is worth integrating into new or legacy combat platforms.
In addition to the RCV (L) and (M) prototypes, the Army will use four specially equipped M113s to serve as RCV surrogates and to inform future RCV efforts of simulated large caliber weapon systems. These RCV surrogates will be paired with both RCV (M) and RCV (L) to form the Army’s first unmanned human-team company during next summer’s SOE. During this experiment, soldiers from the First Equestrian Division will work with the MUM-T company on offensive and defensive missions against a close colleague and will practice direct fire as the end event.
“By taking these robot rides into the field and getting real-time soldier feedback they operate with all the support capabilities needed for success: that’s what our engineers really look forward to,” Cadix said.
General Glenn Dean, program executive officer of the Brigade Ground Combat System, highlighted the importance of collecting military inputs not only to develop TTPs for the use of RCVs, but also to further refine future requirements for the system itself.
“Using soldier inputs with these prototypes, while government and industry engineers are in the garbage beside the military, allows us to ensure that when we move toward the vehicle of production, we make all the inputs from the ground into the system,” Dean said. “We learned a lot by listening to our soldiers at the first COE stage using surrogacy systems at Fort Carson in the summer of 2020. The use of purpose-built, experimental prototypes in Phase 2 SOE will accelerate our learning. ”
After the SOE of the second phase is completed, the Army team will further refine the prototype and surrogate vehicles and then the Phase I cycle begins which includes the SOE in FY2S. The decision on Army acquisition and fielding of RCVs will be after Phase III.