Army selects 2 firms to build new light and medium robotic combat vehicles

Military Tech
The Ripsaw M5 (Textron Systems)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has announced that it plans to strike deals with QinetiQ North America and Textron Systems to build versions of the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV).

Army Combat Capability Development Command's Ground Vehicle Systems Center, along with the service's Next-Generation Combat Vehicles cross-functional team, intend to award Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) to QinetiQ North America to build four light versions of the RCV and to Textron to build four medium versions, according to a recent news release from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium.

The Army often uses OTAs under its new acquisition reform strategy, so it can have prototypes built quickly for experimenting with new designs.

If all goes well in upcoming negotiations, the service intends to award the final OTAs for both variants by mid-February, the release states.

The prototype RCVs will be used as part of the Army's "Robotic Campaign of Learning" in an effort to "determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations," the release adds.

The RCV effort is part of the Army's sweeping modernization effort, launched in 2017. The service wants to develop light, medium and heavy version of the RCV to give commanders the option of sending unmanned vehicles into combat against enemy forces.

"Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations," Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team, said in the release. "Whether that's giving increased firepower to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to soldiers."

Following final OTA notices, QinetiQ North America and Textron's RCVs will be used in a platoon level experiment in March and a company-level experiment in late 2021, the release states.

The results of the experiments, along with the findings from several virtual experiments, will "inform a decision by the Army on how to proceed" with robotic combat vehicles in 2023, according to the release.

Textron, along with its subsidiaries Howe and Howe Technologies and FLiR Systems Inc., displayed the Ripsaw M5 unmanned tracked vehicle as its RCV in October at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting. QinetiQ North America teamed up with Pratt and Miller Defense to enter its Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) at AUSA as well.

Jeffrey Langhout, director of the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, applauded the selection of QinetiQ North America and Textron as a "testament to the dedication and passion of the Army to giving our soldiers the best capabilities possible."

"This is a great day for our Army, as we make another important step in learning how we can employ robotic vehicles into our future formations," he said in the release.

This article originally appeared on

More articles from

Roughly a dozen U.S. troops showing concussion-related symptoms are being medically evacuated from Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, a defense official told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.

Read More

In a Galaxy — err, I mean, on a military base far, far away, soldiers are standing in solidarity with galactic freedom fighters.

Sitting at the top of an Army press release from March 2019, regarding the East Africa Response Force's deployment to Gabon, the photo seems, at first glance, just like any other: Soldiers on the move.

But if you look closer at the top right, you'll find something spectacular: A Rebel Alliance flag.

Read More
The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey took place in Amarillo, Texas (Courtesy photo)

The first of the CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the Navy plans on adopting as its carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft of choice has successfully completed its first flight operations, manufacturer Boeing announced on Tuesday.

Read More
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

Another 300 lawsuits against 3M flooded federal courts this month as more military veterans accuse the behemoth manufacturer of knowingly making defective earplugs that caused vets to lose hearing during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases.

On another front, 3M also is fighting lawsuits related to a class of chemicals known as PFAS, with the state of Michigan filing a lawsuit last week against the Maplewood-based company.

To date, nearly 2,000 U.S. veterans from Minnesota to California and Texas have filed more than 1,000 lawsuits.

Read More

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea said on Tuesday it was no longer bound by commitments to halt nuclear and missile testing, blaming the United States' failure to meet a year-end deadline for nuclear talks and "brutal and inhumane" U.S. sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set an end-December deadline for denuclearization talks with the United States and White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said at the time the United States had opened channels of communication.

O'Brien said then he hoped Kim would follow through on denuclearization commitments he made at summits with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Read More