At the Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) currently on in Washington, DC, Rheinmetall and BAE Systems (BAE-S) have featured combat vehicle autonomy and remote operation capabilities.
Rheinmetall has displayed its proposed solution for the US Army Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L) program, the Wiesel Wingman concept. This concept combines a fully digitized Rheinmetall Wiesel platform with autonomous operational capabilities of the Rheinmetall Mission Master UGV to develop an advanced, lethal robotic combat vehicle platform. American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) is leading Rheinmetall’s US-based effort for this critical platform.
Rheinmetall has also displaed its prototype for a future main battle tank primary armament, a 130 mm smoothbore gun, which represents leap ahead advances in main gun lethality.
BAE Systems debuted its Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) prototype which features autonomous mobility, a Hybrid Electric Drive for fuel efficiency, a 30 mm remote weapons station, a suite of sensors for 360-degree surveillance, composite rubber track system, and a small legged robot for reconnaissance missions among other key new technologies.
“The Robotic Technology Demonstrator is designed as a ‘rolling lab’ to integrate emerging autonomy and lethality technologies for testing. The electrical infrastructure, advanced optics, and software that have been integrated onto this highly reliable and robust chassis provides the foundation for truly game-changing battlefield capability,” said James Miller, director for business development at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles. “BAE Systems built this demonstrator to help us determine the best way to mitigate risk for our soldiers while increasing their lethality.”
The RTD technologies include sensors with true 360-degree situational awareness to include long-wave infrared imaging, signal processing and video distribution. It also includes a tethered unmanned aerial system to support situational awareness and reconnaissance.