The US Army has taken delivery of what appears to be the first prototype of the Textron-developed unmanned tank prototype.
Named Ripsaw M5, the mini-tank could integrate artificial intelligence in the future, and is part of the army’s robotic combat vehicle (RCV) project to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations.
The delivery of the Ripsaw was announced by the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team on February 17.
Both light and medium RCVs are set to take part in a company-level experiment sometime in 2022, helping the US Army to make a decision on how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023.
The Ripsaw comes in a light (7,5 tons) and medium (10,5 tons) version and is powered by a diesel/electric drivetrain. It can be fitted with the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with javelin missiles, a cannon, and anti-aircraft weapon systems, with a maximum payload of 8,000 pounds in the medium, and 3,000 pounds in the light version.
For the 2022 demonstration, the medium RCV Ripsaw will be joined by a RCV-light vehicle built by the QinetiQ Inc. and Pratt Miller Defense team, which already delivered its first prototype to the army in November 2020.