The US Army says it will perform live fire tests of a new Robotic Combat Vehicle next year. Although the tests are not about vehicles that are ultimately intended for combat, they will be used to show off various technologies that can later be included in platforms and how soldiers can ultimately use them on the battlefield.
The RCV's are built on one M113 armored personnel carrier, and will be controlled by soldiers in a vehicle called Mission Enabler Technologies Demonstrators (MET-D & # 39; s), an upgraded Bradley fighting vehicle. The MET-D & # 39; s will be equipped with cameras & a remote turret that can be operated by crew members with touchscreen panels.
The first phase of testing begins in March at Fort Carson in Colorado and will include a few MET-D vehicles and four RCVs. Each MET-D will be controlled by a driver, a shooter and four soldiers, who will control a few RCVs to assess platoon-level maneuvers. The Army Vehicle Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the next generation combat vehicle cross-functional team will then review the results and make adjustments for future tests.
The following phases will be larger: one infantry unit will test the RCV & # 39; s in Europe next May, and another test will take place sometime in the late 2021, those six MET-D & # 39; s and four M113 RCV & # 39; s will see, along with four light and medium sized RCV & # 39; s to perform business maneuvers. A third phase will take place in 2023, with six MET-D & # 39; s and four M113 RCV & s, along with four medium and heavy RCV & s.
Mission Enabler Technologies-Demonstrator (MET-D) vehicles: use the latest technology in cameras, data display, GUI, drive-by-wire capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles and advanced communication tools to raise situational awareness on the battlefield. help improve communication options pic.twitter.com/SyWTwohq5g
– US Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (@CCDC_GVSC) July 1, 2019
The army has been designing armored robot vehicles for several years, but the vehicles used in these tests are not the actual robot vehicles that end up in combat – they are surrogate vehicles designed to simulate a future platform. These tests are not focused on vehicle capabilities, but on the way their operators use them and teach them how to best use future robotic vehicles to attack an enemy without putting soldiers directly in the line of fire.
David Centeno Jr., head of the Emerging Capabilities Office at the center, says in the release that when American troops come under fire, the army must find ways to break that bubble, pass through their systems and freedom of air and land. as possible to maneuver. "These robotic systems could do that: they are mobile platforms equipped with cameras and weapons that can be led into the firing line by soldiers who are far out of reach. The vehicles are expected to be smaller and faster than the manned vehicles currently occupied by the army, because they do not actually carry people, they do not need to be so heavily armored and give more room to weapons or fuel.
The army is currently working on the development of future RCV platforms. In May, it held a demonstration event, where six different teams tested eight remote-controlled robot vehicles on a Texas course. The army used the demonstration to find out what the best approaches are to build future vehicles and what role they could play in a future battlefield.