Milrem Robotics has demonstrated its new Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) to select military forces from around the world, in conjunction with John Cockerill Defense, who provided the remote-controlled Cockerill Protected Weapons Station Gen. II (CPWS II) integrated into the vehicle.
The Type-X vehicle chassis is designed to provide a mobile modular multi-mission platform for a family of armoured unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and is Milrem’s first unmanned combat vehicle specifically intended to be integrated into mechanized units. It is designed to deploy at a weight below the 12-ton mark for rapid deployment into the combat theater, either by parachute or by heavy lift helicopter. The tracked vehicle relies on a combination of augmented Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a remote operator to supplement troop formations or operate independently as part of an unmanned vehicle formation.
The CPWS II is a low-profile, lightweight remotely operated turret for 4X4 and 6X6 vehicles that can be equipped with the M242 25mm X 137mm Bushmaster cannon or the 230LF 30mm X 113mm cannon, as well as anti-tank missiles such as Alcotan, MMP, Javelin or SPIKE. It features an opening roof capability that provides rapid reloading of the unmanned vehicle from the outside, and a 360-degree panoramic sight with CCD, thermal and fused imaging.
During the demonstration Milrem Robotics also unveiled the company’s new Intelligent Functions Kit (IFK), which converts any land vehicle into a self-driving or remotely controlled platform. The modular hardware and software kit provides a ROS (Robot Operating System) 2-based environment for different functionalities, which can be provided by Milrem Robotics, the user or a third party. The IFK has been developed for Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGV and Type-X but can be adapted to any other vehicle with drive-by-wire integration.
Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, commented: ““The Type-X is modular and will accept larger turrets, but current turret designs are optimized for operations under armor. The CPWS II is a step in the right direction, as it is designed from the beginning to be a remotely controlled configuration (unmanned) and easy access from the outside of the turret, allowing for reload and maintenance.”
Simon Haye, the Chief Marketing Officer for John Cockerill Defense, stated: “One of the first realistic roles for unmanned fighting vehicles will be convoy defense and perimeter or base defense. The Type-X with the CPWS can be placed in the front and rear of a convoy to provide additional eyes and firepower for the convoy. Rarely does a convoy have available 25mm firepower and given the system is unmanned, tactics like rushing an ambush site, or maneuvering on the enemy’s position are now legitimate options for a convoy under fire. The lead / follow functions of unmanned vehicles is well developed technology and spreading some operator stations through the convoy can provide redundancy and quick response. Further FOB security can now be in the form of a mobile unmanned fighting vehicle. Instead of putting soldiers at risk on the wire, these Guardian Systems can provide relentless observation and the capability to maneuver and disperse an attack instead of just absorbing it.”
Varsi added: “Eventually, combining self-driving unmanned logistics vehicles with the Type-X and you can reduce the personnel required for a convoy to a few operators, while actually increasing the capabilities of defending the convoy. This is not just a leap forward in force protection but a force multiplier.”