Marine grunts' next battle buddy: a robot .50 cal that fires kamikaze drones

Military Tech

VIDEO: Marine Corps Warfighting Lab experiments with urban combat concepts

The Marine Corps is loading up one of its experimental unmanned ground vehicle with a buttload of firepower.

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab is working on a prototype of its tracked Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) with a remote-controlled .50 caliber machine gun turret and a specialized launcher for kamikaze drones to accompany Marines in urban environments, Military.com reports.


Marine officials showed off the latest upgrades to the EMAV, which can haul up to 7,000 pounds at a range of about 50 miles thank to its GPA waypoint navigation system, at the Modern Day Marine 2019 showcase at Quantico, Virginia this week.

"The key idea is we are exploring how can we enhance the Marine's ability to execute his mission and give him some standoff ... and bring tools to the battle that he normally wouldn't be able to bring," he said. "This is bringing it down to the small-unit level, down to the squad level."

The Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV)(Pratt & Miller)

While the EMAV program was first established in 2017 to haul ammo and supplies for infantry Marines, the 50. cal has been a fixture of the vehicle since the Corps received its first prototype in 2018.

But according to MCWL officials, the Corps also plans on furnishing the EMAV with the Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS), a specialized launcher designed to fire loitering "kamikaze drone" munitions, Military.com reports.

The addition of the LMAMS to the EMAV planned for fiscal year 2020 "would bring precision fires to a lower [unit] level," MCWL ground combat element robotics engineer Dave Stone told Military.com.

In August, Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, put the EMAV through its paces alongside other next-generation gear at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana as part of Project Metropolis, a four-year effort to change how Marines train for urban battles.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles McGee (center), a decorated veteran of three wars, receives a congratulatory a send off after visiting with 436 Aerial Port Squadron personnel at Dover Air Force Base to help celebrate his 100th birthday in Dover, Delaware, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (Associated Press/David Tulis)

Retired Col. Charles McGee stepped out of the small commercial jet and flashed a smile.

Then a thumbs-up.

McGee had returned on a round-trip flight Friday morning from Dover Air Force Base, where he served as co-pilot on one of two flights done especially for his birthday.

By the way he disembarked from the plane, it was hard to tell that McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, was turning 100.

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(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher)

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.

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Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.

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( DSG Technologies photo)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A new weapon being tested by the U.S. military could give special operators a more lethal edge by allowing them to shoot underwater, according to Defense One.

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Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

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