U.S. Army receives first robotic ground combat vehicle
QinetiQ, Pratt Miller Defense’s hybrid electric prototype designed for Army’s RCV-L Program.
U.S. defense contractors, QinetiQ Inc. and Pratt Miller Defense, announced the delivery of its first Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L), a purpose-built hybrid-electric unmanned ground combat vehicle prototype, commissioned by the U.S. Army.
Integrating technology from both organizations, the RCV-L combines QinetiQ’s Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) robotic control systems with Pratt Miller’s Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV).
Designed to fit transport aircraft, the slim EMAV robotic platform weighs 6,800 lbs but can carry 7,200 lbs of payload while reaching speeds up to 45 MPH. Its hybrid-electric powertain supports an electric only silent running mode, while its tank tracks and a low center of gravity help it climb a 60% grade and vertical steps up to 24 inches.
The RCV-L Prototype Project was awarded to QinetiQ Inc. with major subcontractor Pratt Miller in March 2020 through the National Advanced Mobility Consortium. The agreement includes the delivery and support of four RCV-L prototypes with procurement options for up to 16 additional RCV-L systems.
“This unit is the first of four vehicles developed in support of the Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) Soldier Operational Experiment, planned for 2022, and represents a significant milestone for the program,” said Michael Rose; Branch Chief for Robotic Combat Platforms, GVSC Ground Vehicle Robotics. “The GVSC team now plans to add autonomous mobility as well as government furnished software for the Tethered UAS Multi-Mission Payload and CROWS-J Lethality package.”
RCV-L is part of the U.S. Army’s larger Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program, under which it will replace and add new combat vehicles. The Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), for example, is planned as a replacement for the M-2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. In addition, the M-1 Abrams tank will give way to the Decisive Lethality Platform and the M-113 vehicle to the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. In addition to the RCV-Light, additional contracts have been awarded for RCV-Medium and Heavy versions as well.