WASHINGTON — General Dynamics Land Systems debuted its new medium-class robotic combat vehicle — Tracked Robot 10-Ton, or TRX — at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference, which came together using AI-enhanced design and lightweight materials.
TRX is an independent research project that GDLS has been working for over year that builds on the technologies from its successful Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) robotic vehicle program, a GDLS spokesperson told Defense News in an interview ahead of AUSA.
GDLS won the SMET competition this year after a recompete followed by a protest. GDLS also won the original contract.
The 10-ton vehicle has a light chassis that can carry a lot by using some advanced design technologies that the company has developed with partners as well as some unique manufacturing technologies and advanced materials, according to GDLS.
The platform is designed to meet a variety of critical missions such as direct and indirect fires, autonomous resupply, complex obstacle breaching, counter-unmanned aerial systems, electronic warfare and reconnaissance.
The robot can conduct semi-autonomous operations and is fast enough to keep up with high-speed maneuver formations like the Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the Armored BCT, GDLS said.
In GD’s virtual exhibit booth at AUSA, the TRX represents an indirect fires configuration that showcases its partnership with drone-maker Aerovironment. The vehicle sports a large payload consisting of a variety of Switchblade loitering munitions.
In 2018, GDLS and Aerovironment announced its partnership at AUSA, revealing an armored reconnaissance vehicle for the Marine Corps competition with Switchblade and Shrike 2 unmanned aerial systems incorporated. The goal was to do something similar for the Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).
GD is also providing footage of its combat robot paired with a manned vehicle at the platoon- or company-level at its virtual booth.
While the Army did not select GDLS to build medium-class RCV prototypes to be used to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations, the company is prepared for when the Army moves forward with a competition to acquire those types of robots once it has defined requirements through experimentation over the next several years, according to company officials.
The Army is planning to make a decision on how to proceed with robots on the battlefield in 2023.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.