Remote Combat Vehicles to Punch as Hard as Abrams Tanks

A Maneuver Robotics and Autonomous Systems Live Fire Demonstration takes place Aug. 22, 2017 at the Digital Multi-Purpose Range Complex at Fort Benning, Ga. The Army wants to design a Remote Combat Vehicle like this but much more lethal and maneuverable. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright)

A Maneuver Robotics and Autonomous Systems Live Fire Demonstration takes place Aug. 22, 2017 at the Digital Multi-Purpose Range Complex at Fort Benning, Ga. The Army wants to design a Remote Combat Vehicle like this but much more lethal and maneuverable. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright)

January 1, 2018 | Source: U.S. Army, army.mil, 8 December 2017, David Vergun

Within five years, the Army would like to start testing remote combat vehicle prototypes, known as RCVs, which are unmanned, as light and as fast as a Stryker, but provide the same level of firepower as an M-1 Abrams tank, said Maj. Alan L. Stephens.

Stephens, an Acquisition Corps officer at the Mounted Requirements Division of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, spoke at the Future Ground Combat Vehicles Summit here, Nov. 30.

While the holy grail is the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, he said the Army thinks it can more quickly field a limited number of RCVs, and importantly, the results of that testing could help inform the requirements for the NGCV, which is slated for fielding in 2035.

Instead of a traditional program of record, Stephens said the plan is to buy a limited quantity of RCVs or components that could be used for RCVs, then let Soldiers put them through their grueling paces at the combat training centers and various test sites and proving grounds.

The analysis that result from that and Soldier feedback would then be used to inform requirements for the RCV and later on for the NGCV, he said.

A capability development document for the RCV could be written as soon as 2022, he added.