QinetiQ Inc. and Pratt Miller Defense have handed over the first prototype of the Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L) to the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC).
Delivered to GVSC on November 5, the purpose-built hybrid-electric unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGCV) is the first of four systems to be built under a contract from March this year.
In addition to light UGCVs, the army is also in the process of acquiring a medium and heavy RCV. The four medium RCV prototypes will be delivered by Textron.
“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,” Michael Rose, branch chief for robotic combat platforms, GVSC Ground Vehicle Robotics, commented.
“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.”
The RCV-L is a purpose-built hybrid-electric UGCV integrating Pratt Miller’s expeditionary modular autonomous vehicle (EMAV) and QinetiQ’s modular open system architecture (MOSA) robotic control systems.
The RCV-L prototype project was awarded to QinetiQ North America in March 2020 through the National Advanced Mobility Consortium. The agreement includes the delivery and support of four RCV-L platforms with procurement options for up to 16 additional RCV-L systems.
Both the light and medium UGCV prototypes will help the service determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations, with the light and medium RCVs set to take part in a company-level experiment at the end of 2021. A range of tests and experiments will allow the US Army to make a decision on how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023.