The United States Army has announced that it will be conducting live-fire tests of armored robotic vehicles starting next year. The new Robotic Combat Vehicles will be put through tests that are designed to showcase the technologies that will eventually make their way into the vehicles that actually go into combat in the future.
The robotic vehicles are based on the M113 armored personnel carrier. Soldiers will be able to control them from a vehicle called the Mission Enabler Technologies-Demonstrators which is essentially an upgraded Bradley Fighting Vehicle. These vehicles will have cameras and a remote turret which the crew will be able to control using touchpanels.
The first tests will begin at Fort Carson in Colorado next March. They will include a pair of MET-Ds with four robotic vehicles. Each of the former will be controlled by a driver, a gunner, and four soldiers who will in turn control a pair of robotic vehicles to assess platoon-level maneuvers. The Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team will use the results to make adjustments for future tests.
The second test will see an infantry unit testing out the robotic vehicles in Europe next May with a third test scheduled for late 2021 where six MET-Ds and four robotic vehicles will be engaged along with four light and medium robotic vehicles for company-level maneuvers.