Next phase of U.S. Army’s robotic combat vehicles testing begins

The U.S. Army has begun its next step of testing the armed robotic vehicles as part of the U.S. Army’s next-gen combat vehicle program.

Speaking to WPBN’s reporters Thursday, Ross Coffman, the director of Next Generation Combat Vehicles confirmed that Army has begun test robotic combat vehicles that he is hoping will help save lives and win future wars.

“This is a big step for our army, as we try to figure out how we want the future army to look and fight, and in a perfect world we would really love for a robot to go in and figure out what’s going on,” said Jeff Langhout, the director of Combat Capabilities Development.

The Next Generation Combat Vehicle’s manned-unmanned teaming concept would leverage a protected tether between the NGCV Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and the Robotic Combat Vehicle in order to provide Soldiers with the capability to safely engage in combat via remotely controlled autonomous systems.

The new generation of combat vehicles is intended to replace the Bradley starting in 2026 and is designed to better operate in future environments that would allow soldiers to maneuver to a position of advantage and to engage in close combat and deliver decisive lethality during the execution of combined arms maneuver.

“This is a big step for our army, as we try to figure out how we want the future army to look and fight, and in a perfect world we would really love for a robot to go in and figure out what’s going on,” said Jeff Langhout, the director of Combat Capabilities Development.

The next-generation vehicles designed to support modular mission payloads and enable commanders to tailor the vehicle’s capabilities to each particular mission. The development of technology allows you to control the war machine remotely and connected to combat battle groups of other unmanned combat vehicles. The one of the manned variant would controlling the other two or four unmanned combat vehicles or RCV. The group of RCVs would be controlled by Soldiers through a tethered radio link. At the highest level, a vehicle might be fully autonomous, requiring artificial intelligence and neural networking – something not yet achievable, but clearly on the horizon.

WPBN, quoting Army leaders, reported that next week, the vehicles will be shipped to Maryland where they will go through extensive training. If all goes well, the vehicle could be ready for the battlefield by 2023.

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