(Source: Nextgov.com – Patrick Tucker) – US Army to Stage Largest Robot Tank Experiment Ever
Abstract & Link – A prototype next-generation robotic combat vehicle from General Dynamics Land Systems, on display during the AUSA conference in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2021

The U.S. Army intends to test an entire company of unmanned combat vehicles in simulated battle next year, a wargame that leaders called unprecedented and a big step toward refining the hardware and software that will one day enable wheeled robots to take the battlefield.

Gen. Ross Coffman, the director of Army Futures Command’s Next Generation Combat Cross-Functional Team, told reporters at AUSA this week that the closest thing to the Army’s upcoming robot exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, was last year’s platoon-sized effort at Fort Carson, Colorado. (…)

“Now we’re moving it up to company level.” he said. “The lessons learned here, we can now then apply to a brigade and to a division and see how we want to fight with these things in the future. (…)”

In August, the Army hired five firms to design prototypes for unmanned combat vehicles: Point Blank Enterprises., Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems Land and Armaments, General Dynamics Land Systems, and American Rheinmetall Vehicles. Part of the deal: the vehicles must conform to an open systems architecture that can accommodate third-party software and sensors.

Program leaders hope that that will enable them to draw on the country’s top minds in vehicle autonomy, machine vision, and artificial intelligence. And there’s been an explosion in recent years of private sector and academic research in self-driving, autonomous and partially autonomous programming. (…)


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