Unmanned Combat Vehicle Ready For Action

combat vehicle
Image credit: Milrem Robotics

Unmanned ground vehicles are not a new concept but the latest project from Estonia-based Milrem Robotics and Belgium’s John Cockerill Defense could represent the future of unmanned warfare. Milrem’s Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle is modular in design and equipped with the Cockerill turret. The platform was built specifically for unmanned armoured vehicles under 12 tonnes destined for rapid deployment.

Creating The Ultimate Combat Vehicle

Milrem first introduced its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) at the 2016 Singapore Air show. Since then, they’ve been hard at work expanding the capabilities of its robotic combat platform. Their new armoured combat vehicle can now be used for a wide variety of missions, including the protection of unmanned convoys.

The latest addition to this impressive piece of engineering is the Combat Vehicle Protected Weapons Station Generation II (CPWS II) turret. Because of its modular design, the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle can also accept larger turrets.

It is the latest step to create an unmanned armoured combat vehicle that can be used in several ways. Not only can it support conventional mechanised military units but it can also be deployed by parachute or heavy-load helicopter.

Recommended: ‘Military Vehicles And Robotics Through The Ages

Combat Vehicle And Advanced Weapon Systems

The Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle is armoured and while it can be controlled remotely, it can also act independently. Thanks to the augmented Artificial Intelligence (AI), it can support conventional troops or act autonomously in robotic formations.

What makes all of this possible is the low profile, lightweight, remote-controlled CPWS II turret. It fits onto 4×4 or 6×6 vehicles and can be equipped with following weapons and systems:

  • M242 25 mm x 137 mm Bushmaster cannon or the 230LF, 30 mm x 113 mm cannon
  • Anti-Tank Missiles, including the Alcotan, MMP, Javelin or SPIKE
  • a 360-degree panoramic sight
  • CCD, thermal, and fused imaging cameras

It has a revolutionary hatch that can operate in three modes – fully closed or opened, elevated or removed. This makes the Type-X a desirable option for various unmanned vehicle operations. It also makes maintenance and munitions loading a lot easier.

How The Type-X Combat Vehicle Could Be Used

Simon Haye, Chief Marketing Officer for John Cockerill Defence, said: “One of the first realistic roles for unmanned fighting vehicles will be convoy defence and perimeter or base defence. 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.”

It’s not often that a convoy has 25 mm firepower available and considering that the system is unmanned, certain tactics are now legitimate options. This includes rushing an ambush site or manoeuvring on the enemy’s position when a convoy is under fire.

The lead/follow functions of unmanned vehicles has come a long way and is now a well-developed technology. By spreading some operator stations throughout a convoy can provide redundancy and quick response.

Haye continued by stating that “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 manoeuvre and disperse an attack instead of just absorbing it.”

Who Is Milrem Robotics?

Milrem Robotics was established in 2013 where they developed their first unmanned ground vehicle in 2015 (THeMIS). Since then, they’ve sold it to nine countries of which seven are NATO members. The company’s mission is to provide innovative robotic solutions for challenging environments with a particular focus on defence, agriculture, forestry, municipal services, rescue and mining.

More On John Cockerill Defense

John Cockerill Defence is a member of the bicentennial John Cockerill Group. They are technological leaders in multi-functional, high-effect turrets in the 25-120 mm range for light and medium weight armoured vehicles.

They develop and integrate complete and innovative solutions from design and production to integration and upgrading of weapons systems, operational and tactical training, Agueris® simulation systems through-life support and innovative functionalities.

Want to learn more about manufacturing, engineering and technology? Simply follow and share our blog or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn. Remember to use the hashtag, #PRVtech. Among other industries, PRV Engineering has provided essential services to the defence sector for more than six years.