Part-Type Type X chassis
In early April, the Estonian company Milrem Robotics first talked about the development of the promising Type-X robotic system, which is a multi-purpose crewless armored fighting vehicle. Soon assembly of the prototype began. He is ready. The prototype was shown to potential customers.
In early June, Estonian television showed a report from the assembly shop of Milrem Robotics. The "protagonist" of the report was the under construction chassis for the Type-X RTK. By the time of the survey, the main assembly work was completed, but some of the units were missing. In addition, the complex did not have time to get a combat module - it was nearby under a cover. However, as it turned out later, completing the assembly did not take much time.
Just a few days later, on June 17, Milrem Robotics held an event with representatives of the armed forces of several unnamed countries. The military, who will have to operate such equipment in the future, was shown a prototype RTK Type-X with all the main components.
During the event, they again called the main advantages of the new project, announced earlier. RTK Type-X should effectively solve the same problems as “manned” vehicles, but it is easier to operate, cheaper and more profitable than conventional infantry fighting vehicles with similar characteristics.
Also on June 17, they presented a promising Intelligent Functions Kit control system designed for Type-X and other RTKs for various purposes. Such a system is designed to increase the autonomy of technology. It allows RTK to independently navigate and perform other tasks.
Previously, only computer images of the promising RTK and some information about its tactical and technical characteristics were freely available. Recent reports and press releases allow us to consider the new technology in great detail - as well as draw conclusions.
It was previously indicated that the combat weight of the Type-X RTK is 12 tons. The payload in the form of a combat module or other equipment is up to 3 tons. The length of the vehicle is 6 m at a height of not more than 2,2-2,5 m, depending on " payload. " All this makes certain demands on the power plant and chassis. Some information about them has already been announced, and now new details are known.
Even in the first announcement, the development company talked about the use of a hybrid power plant with a diesel generator, batteries and traction motors. All engines are placed in the stern of the hull, batteries are in the bow. A single bus was used to provide power to all systems, from engines to weapons electronics.
RTK Type-X with CPWS Gen.2 combat module
In a report from the assembly shop, the chassis and chassis elements were shown in sufficient detail. On each side there are seven road wheels with individual suspension on the balancers. All rollers are equipped with external shock absorbers. The drive wheels are located in the stern. A solid rubber track is used.
It is alleged that on board the car there is all the necessary equipment for traveling by commands or in automatic mode, navigation, communications, etc. Electronics are assembled in blocks with the possibility of quick replacement - to repair or change the capabilities of the machine. Of all the devices from the outside, only blocks of cameras and rangefinders are visible, located in front of the fenders. Their layout indicates the possibility of tracking a wide sector of the front hemisphere, sufficient for driving.
According to the developers, the Type-X RTK will be able to independently move along the highway and rough terrain with a maximum speed of 80 km / h. Cruising range - 600 km. Depending on current needs, it is possible to drive using a diesel engine or on batteries.
Some of the characteristics and features of the platform are still unknown. In particular, the parameters of bulletproof booking, patency characteristics, etc. were not specified. Until the completion of full-fledged tests, questions of the effectiveness of the electronic systems of remote and autonomous control will be relevant.
The Type-X platform can be equipped with any combat module weighing no more than 2-3 tons. One of the options for this configuration has already been shown as an advertising image. There is also another option - it was implemented on a prototype recently completed and shown to potential customers.
Previously demonstrated variant of the BBM Type-X
In this case, the CPWS Gen.2 combat module from John Cokerill (formerly CMI Defense) is mounted on a standard shoulder strap of the chassis roof. Initially, it was a low-profile inhabited tower with missile, cannon and machine gun weapons. For use on Milrem Type-X or similar platforms, the design has been finalized - with the removal of full-time controls and the installation of remote controls.
The experienced RTK received a 25-mm automatic gun and a normal caliber machine gun. The design of the combat module allows you to install similar systems of different types, up to 30 mm guns of different models. On the starboard side there is a launcher for two guided missiles - their type is also selected by the customer. Smoke grenade launchers are provided.
On the roof of the tower is an optoelectronic unit with day and night surveillance equipment, as well as a laser range finder. It is proposed to use it as a panoramic sight, providing both surveillance and guidance weapons.
Plans for the future
Back in April, Milrem Robotics management claimed that the Type-X complex had already found its customer. The development of the project was almost completely paid for by an unnamed country. It is possible that on June 17 the finished prototype was shown to this particular customer, however, accurate data on this subject is still not available.
The concept of a mobile control center RTK based on a wheeled armored personnel carrier
The company's plans for the near future include the completion of all construction and preparation of a prototype for testing. Factory tests are expected to begin before the end of the third quarter of this year. Apparently, the RTK with the CPWS Gen.2 combat module will be the first to test. In the future, other versions of the complex with other weapons and equipment may appear, including non-military purpose.
Upcoming tests will show the real potential of the new robotic complex - and the customer who paid for the development will be able to draw conclusions. In addition, other countries will have the opportunity to evaluate RTK not only for advertising. It is possible that all this will affect the circle of potential customers.
The direction of relatively heavy military-purpose RTKs is of great interest to different customers and there are already a number of similar projects from different countries. In this regard, the Type-X project is one of the most advanced developments, which in the future may take part in the formation of a full-fledged market for combat RTKs.
At the moment, the organization-developer is looking to the future with optimism. The completion of the assembly of the first prototype and its demonstration to the customer becomes an additional reason for high ratings and positive forecasts. At the same time, the project is far from its completion, and there are still serious risks that could affect its progress and commercial results.
The proposed Milrem Type-X in the proposed form looks very interesting from different points of view, but its future remains uncertain. Clarity will appear only after confirming the characteristics and capabilities in practice. The tests will start in the coming months, and then it will be possible to draw conclusions.