Next-generation robotic mini-tank will guarantee the future of the U.S. military
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – In mid-February this year (2021), a piece of news went around the world but did not gain the desired popularity. Today, more attention pays to conflicts worldwide or next-generation fighters’ production than information related to ground forces.
It is a mini-tank known as variant “M” (medium). It is now accessible to the team working to build next-generation weapons. This team is referred to as the U.S. Army Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, or NGCV CFT.
The NGCV CFT released only one short message saying: “Robotic Combat Vehicle (M) arrived today. Forge the Future? You better believe it!”
Wrapped in mystery and bearing the popular acronym “M” (as “M” – the head of British intelligence Mi-6 from the James Bond novels), this mini-tank is set to be a fundamental tool in building the future combat capability of the U.S. military in the coming decades.
So, let me tell you a little more about “M.”
RCV-Medium – what is it?
RCV-Medium is an integral part of the next generation of weapons. It is developed under a program that aims to build a quality warfare weapon for the next generation. This program includes robotic machines, autonomous combat land, and aircraft, autonomous naval weapons, artificial intelligence in the air, on the ground, and at sea.
The RCV-Medium tank is precisely this type of weapon on the ground. A robotic mini-tank operated by an operator (as drones) remotely but will strike with precise computer accuracy. The new mini-tank will have eyes everywhere – 360-degree cameras with built-in day, night, and thermal functions will provide the necessary “look” during battle.
25 mm machine guns will guarantee the destruction of an enemy object under a barrage of bullets. It is unknown whether the RCV-Medium will have a main cannon on the tower, but this is not so important, as the functions of this mini-tank will be slightly different.
RCV-Medium will be an “escort and reconnaissance attack tool” for the U.S. infantry. In addition to passing through heavily rugged and steep terrain, this tank will be able to “see” down. Something that today’s armored vehicles still can not.
RCV-Medium will also be quite mobile. In addition to being transported quickly by C-130, heavy helicopters will also transfer it from one point to another.
The team that has set out to complete the robotic min-tank will have to deal with its ability not to overturn. And if this happens – easy to return to the original standing position.
Why are such weapons being developed?
Military action is changing. War or conflict is no longer what it used to be – fewer soldiers, more equipment. This fact is the future of warfare. At some point, the military will take over territories only by equipment, saving soldiers’ lives. That is why the conclusion reached by the largest military forces in the world today is simple – robotic machines have less cost than operated ones because there is no human factor in place during the battle.
RCV-Medium will be cheap and easy to maintain. Its autonomous mode of operation will allow it to connect with “its comrades” on the battlefield in milliseconds, which will give a general picture of what is happening at the headquarters of the army leading the battle. This situation will allow the development of a strategy that is effective, timely, and ultimately successful.
The United States surprised the world in 2020
In mid-August 2020, the United States showed the world that it worked hard on robotic, autonomous, and artificial intelligence machines.
The 4th Cavalry Division squad conducted intensive research and field testing as part of the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program at Fort Carson, Colorado, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defense24.
These tests aimed to check the suitability and use of autonomous combat vehicles on the battlefield soon.
American soldiers conducted exercises with classic combat tasks’ performance using command and control vehicles on modified M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with a two-person crew and M113 remotely controlled armored personnel carriers.
During the tests, the main challenges identified are target recognition technology, stabilization of weapon systems in the field, or maintaining efficient and continuous communication between the steering and robot vehicles at a distance of over 1000 meters.
The United States has already armed itself with robotic military equipment
On November 11, 2020, It became clear that the U.S. Army has taken the next step – the commissioning of the first robotic combat vehicle.
This vehicle is RCV-L, joint development of QinetiQ Inc. and Pratt Miller Defense, with the new robotic combat vehicle provided to the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command [CCDC] Ground Systems Center [GVSC].
The first robotic combat vehicle’s delivery results from teamwork and collaboration only between the companies that manufactured the tool between government agencies that have fully assisted in making it happen. These words said Michael Rose, Branch Chief for Robotic Combat Platforms, GVSC Ground Vehicle Robotics.
According to Michael, despite the pandemic and the aggravated international situation due to the spreading coronavirus, everyone has managed to focus their efforts and plan delivery on time. By 2022, the U.S. military expects to receive more similar robotic weapons, and this delivery is the first of four scheduled in the coming years.
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