Tuesday, June 28, 2022

U.S. Army begins first Robotic Combat Vehicle soldier operational experiment

The U.S. Army is launched one of the most audacious Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) soldier operational experiment at Fort Carson, Colorado, according to the Combat Capabilities Development Command.

The Next Generation Combat Vehicle – Cross Functional Team and CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center, in collaboration, are conducting RCV experiment to help the service better gauge how a future robotic vehicle fleet could fit inside the force structure.

Soldiers and researchers are will spend the next few weeks as a part of large scale operational experiments to observe, collect and analyze feedback from Soldiers to assess the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat formations at Ft. Carson, Col., from June 15 – Aug. 14, 2020.


“This is the first in a series of Soldier experiments the Army is conducting to assess if robotic combat vehicles will increase the lethality of ground combat units,” it said in a statement. “For this initial experiment, the Army is equipping a platoon-sized element of 4th Infantry Division Soldiers with Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrators (MET-D).”

In 2019, the Army also launched a virtual experiment to help inform the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team’s campaign of learning for Manned and Un-Manned Teaming.

The experiment examined multiple questions including how Soldiers dealt with constraints such as signal degradation, lack of mobility while using certain features, task organization, and which variants of the vehicles proved the most useful.

Currently, the Army is working to adding new capabilities to its combat vehicle fleet. The new robotic vehicles is expected to increase overall lethality, tactical mobility, strategic deployability and protection for Soldiers. It is also expected to reduce logistical demands on the Army.

Photos courtesy of Ground Vehicle Systems Center
Photos courtesy of Ground Vehicle Systems Center
Photos courtesy of Ground Vehicle Systems Center

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Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.