Army Announces Remote Combat Vehicle Contracts
QinetiQ and Textron will provide light and medium ground robots.
The U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the U.S. Army Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team intends to award an other transaction agreement to QinetiQ North America to build four light and to Textron to build four medium Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs).
The RCVs will be used as part of the Army’s Robotic Campaign of Learning that seeks to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations. The light and medium RCVs will be used to conduct a company-level experiment at the end of 2021. The results of that experiment, a platoon-level experiment in March of 2020, and several virtual experiments, will inform a decision by the Army on how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023.
“Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations,” Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, says in a written announcement. “Whether that’s giving increased fire power to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing CBRNE [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to Soldiers.”
The Army’s selections for both the RCV light and RCV medium agreements were announced in coordination with its partner, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium, today. Pending successful negotiations, the Army intends to award the final OTA for both variants by mid-February.