You can’t run, and hiding is futile.
This is the conclusion a target might reach when up against General Dynamics’ recently debuted Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium class weapon, according to a recent press release from the company.
The best countermeasure might be getting one of your own.
Robotic combat vehicles with situational awareness
The robotic combat vehicles feature new, modular architecture that enables scalable hardware and software to support future missions. The forthcoming vehicles use a novel software system called Katalyst Next Generation Electronic Architecture (NGEA), which substantially enhances mobility and battle effectiveness, avoiding obstacles, and navigating a path. It’s also more lethal, not only because it can detect and identify objects, but also because it can automate a target prioritization algorithm. Lastly, it has higher survivability and reconnaissance capabilities, employing 360-degree situational awareness while peering through armor and evaluating the terrain.
The Katalyst NGEA offers a mixture of core abilities, including computing, sensor fusion and processing, and an efficient mode of power distribution and management. The robotic vehicle can also support exceptional performance, since the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) is amenable to future variants, in a bid to anticipate novel applications. The firm claims the TRX sets a new precedent for payload capacity for military vehicles to accommodate a wide spectrum of equipment needed for tactical missions. TRX’s power and size also mean it could work as a multi-role vehicle.
“Part of the Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium (RCV-M) class, TRX features innovative thinking, ranging from its AI-enhanced design to advanced, lightweight materials and a hybrid-electric propulsion system,” reads the press release on General Dynamic’s website. “TRX sets a new best-in-class payload capacity to accommodate any mission equipment package. TRX’s power and size make it an ideal platform for multirole MUM-T on today’s battlefield. TRX is positioned to provide superior performance as an enabling technology in a myriad of critical battleflield roles, including direct and indirect fire, autonomous resupply, complex obstacle breaching, counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS), electronic warfare (EW), reconnaissance and other battlefield missions.”
A full suite of next-gen combat technology
General Dynamics also debuted a semi-autonomous robotic platform, called the Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT), designed to reduce the physical burden placed on dismounted soldiers. It can be equipped with a wide spectrum of modular mission payloads, and employs a unique control apparatus, like a “dismount following tether or the easy-to-use one-handed RC controller, which minimizes soldiers’ physical and cognitive loads during dismounted missions.” The U.S. Army already selected the MUTT for its Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (S-MET) program, and eventually the MUTT will come with autonomous resupply, in addition to counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS). Notably, it will also have active defenses for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks, although what these specifically entail remains unclear (it’s difficult to imagine any surface-based military equipment surviving a nuclear blast).
Land System’s full suite of next-gen combat technology will be on display at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference during symposium hours from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, with platform-based health and monitoring systems integrated into a novel electronic architecture. The future of warfare is autonomous, real-time decision-making assisted with cutting-edge artificial intelligence, and it’s just beyond the horizon.