Army selects 2 firms to build new light and medium robotic combat vehicles
The U.S. Army has announced that it plans to strike deals with QinetiQ North America and Textron Systems to build versions of the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV).
Army Combat Capability Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, along with the service’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicles cross-functional team, intend to award Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) to QinetiQ North America to build four light versions of the RCV and to Textron to build four medium versions, according to a recent news release from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium.
The Army often uses OTAs under its new acquisition reform strategy, so it can have prototypes built quickly for experimenting with new designs.
If all goes well in upcoming negotiations, the service intends to award the final OTAs for both variants by mid-February, the release states.
The prototype RCVs will be used as part of the Army’s “Robotic Campaign of Learning” in an effort to “determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations,” the release adds.
The RCV effort is part of the Army’s sweeping modernization effort, launched in 2017. The service wants to develop light, medium and heavy version of the RCV to give commanders the option of sending unmanned vehicles into combat against enemy forces.
“Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations,” Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team, said in the release. “Whether that’s giving increased firepower to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles …read more
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