Robotic Combat Vehicles
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March 31, 2022

DESCRIPTION:

Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs) are a revolutionary capability that will forever change the conduct of warfare. RCVs’ family of unmanned and configurable platforms (light, medium, and heavy) will deliver decisive lethality by rapidly developing Situational Awareness (SA) and enabling commanders to employ external or onboard weapon systems while reducing the aggregate tactical risk to the formation. Moreover, growth requirements will enable RCVs to rapidly evolve with the ever-increasing dynamic nature of software and hardware innovations by spiraling new technology onto the platform to protect its relevancy throughout its product life cycle.

BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER

RCVs will expand the geometry of the battlefield and enable friendly forces to dictate the terms of the first human engagement by leveraging robotic and autonomous systems to shape and attrite a threat. The Modular Mission Payloads (MMPs) RCVs offer will allow access to capabilities such as electronic warfare and counter-unmanned aerial systems at the platoon level. RCVs are relevant to all phases of Multi-Domain Operations: Compete, Penetrate, Disintegrate, Exploit, and Recompete.

This revolutionary enhancement of ground forces will provide a dynamic variable to force the threat to account for a wide spectrum of potential employment strategies, thus demonstrating a credible deterrence during the Compete Phase. During the Penetration Phase, RCVs will enable commanders to contest enemy maneuver forces by leveraging robust sensor packages to develop SA and facilitate multiple options to conduct simultaneous multi-domain strikes with either the RCVs’ onboard or external capabilities. When supporting the Disintegration Phase, RCVs will employ their autonomous maneuver capability to offer the threat multiple dilemmas with respect to conducting independent maneuver without exposing the human force to direct and/or indirect fire.

Additionally, the RCVs’ MMPs will offer multiple options to deceive the threat and inhibit the threat’s ability to make effective and informed decisions. RCVs will add further value during the Exploit Phase by aggressively maneuvering to positions of advantage, developing SA, and enabling commanders to isolate threat forces attempting to retrograde or provide friendly forces with early warning of pending counterattacks. After friendly forces defeat the enemy ground element, RCVs will transition to an expanded reconnaissance and security role to secure both terrain and populations; ultimately setting the conditions to either transition to stability operations or recompete in the event of renewed aggression.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Autonomy: RCVs will offer the options of mission-dictated control and handoff between equipped mounted and dismounted control stations.
  • Lethality: Depending on configuration, RCVs will provide the capability to be equipped with a range of autonomous and remote weapons ranging from small arms to large caliber cannons.
  • Mobility: RCVs will be designed to maintain mobility with the organic formation.

PROGRAM STATUS:

  • 4QFY20: Key Soldier operational experiment to demonstrate value of manned-unmanned teaming in U.S. Army units using RCV surrogate platforms

PROJECTED ACTIVITIES:

  • 3QFY22: Key Soldier operational experiment: Demonstrate technology readiness of RCV Light and RCV Medium
  • 3QFY23: Milestone (MS) B: RCV Light
  • 3QFY24: MS B: RCV Medium
  • FY25:
    • RCV Light enters Milestone MS C: RCV Light
    • First Unit Equipped with RCV Light: First Unit Equipped