Soldiers will drive the Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle through major testing in 2022.
In 2021, the Army received both the light and medium variants of the RCV and started work in small teams before a planned company-level evaluation this coming year.
Army Times reported in mid-2021 that soldiers with 3rd Infantry Division ran the RCV through two weeks of live-fire testing for the robot battle buddy expected to fight parallel with the Next Generation Combat Vehicle.
The Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment soldiers out of Fort Benning, Georgia, did platoon-level live fires with the RCVs at Camp Grayling, Michigan, in late April 2021.
Those tests were done on a prototype platform before RCV industry developers delivered the actual prototypes, though.
Soldiers used a remote control from behind a berm and tethered drone video feeds to locate targets. They then struck enemy vehicles with two or fewer corrections using M249 Squad Automatic Weapons, M2 .50 caliber machine guns and Mk19 grenade launchers mounted on the RCV stand-in.
The RCV Light is a diesel-electric hybrid with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 8,500 pounds and a maximum payload of no more than 7,000 pounds.
It boasts a top speed of about 40 miles per hour, Army Times sister publication Defense News previously reported.
Defense News also reported that the RCV-M is a diesel-electric hybrid with a gross vehicle weight of 25,000 pounds.
It is equipped with a remotely operated 30 mm cannon and has a top speed of over 25 miles per hour.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.