Military Review

Consumable material. American robots in the thick of the battle

43

RCV-Light combines shock, reconnaissance and transport functions. Source: qinetiq.com


Small spool but precious


Robotic process weapons irreversible and develops in accordance with strict economic laws. Training of a military pilot has always been a costly and rather lengthy undertaking. The emergence of strategic and tactical UAVs has become an obvious solution to this problem with a bunch of bonuses - a long period of air duty, increased responsiveness and low visibility for radars. Now, when even countries that have never shone on the battlefield are effectively using shock and reconnaissance drones, it is the turn of ground vehicles. One of the particular examples of such an evolution from heaven to earth was the American Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program, aimed at developing a whole line of combat ground robots.


One of the early prototypes of the RCV-Light. Source: defpost.com

RCV-Light machines are in the lightest class of the family. Such remote-controlled robots must move on the external sling of a CH-47 helicopter and a V-22 tiltrotor. A tracked platform for a light vehicle is used by the EMAV (Expeditionary Autonomous Modular Vehicle) from Pratt Miller. It can be called light rather conditionally - after all, the mass exceeds 3 tons. The platform perfectly plays the role of a truck and takes on board 3 kg. The maximum speed of the RCV-Light reaches 200 km / h on rough terrain. On a tracked vehicle, in addition to a machine-gun mount, a small reconnaissance quadcopter can be placed, seriously expanding the capabilities of the robot.

The analysis of the available images allows us to judge the rather high degree of elaboration of the design of the American novelty. First of all, these are several lidars (laser radars) located at the corners of the platform, which are part of the machine vision system. This indicates the possibility of semi-automatic operation of the robotic complex. For example, operators just need to set the route to the vehicle to the point of collision, and RCV-Light will carry out all further actions in autopilot mode. The remote operator can operate the Hover Fly Tethered Unmanned Aerial System, an airborne reconnaissance drone at this time. The copter is tied to the tracked vehicle (in the literal sense of the word) with a cord for control and power supply.

In the autopilot system, minitanks there is nothing surprising - similar technologies have long been used in the civilian automotive industry in the USA, Japan and Europe. Fully autonomous prototypes, hung with lidars, sonars and infrared cameras, have rolled millions of kilometers around the world and are ready to become full-fledged participants in the movement. Everything rests on the legal framework and problems with liability for road accidents. In the army, such sentiments are not burdened, and the full automation of the movement of combat robots seems to be quite natural. By the way, in Russia, KamAZ is engaged in projects of unmanned trucks, until recently it worked in cooperation with the IT firm Cognitive Technologie. Considering the proximity of the plant from Naberezhnye Chelny to the domestic military-industrial complex, one can be sure of using the obtained developments in the military sphere.


RCV-Light in one of the configurations with a quadcopter and a machine gun. Source: defbrief.com

The development of "electronic brains" of a light tracked robot is being carried out by the British QinetiQ, which has managed to get its hands on flying drones. In particular, the company's engineers have created a high-altitude solar-powered pseudo-satellite Zephyr, which set a record for flight duration. Under current US law, a lightweight robot cannot open fire on its own - it still requires an operator. At the same time, the vehicle is able to independently search for and aim at the target of the Kongsberg CROWS-J combat module with a 127-mm M2 Browning machine gun. Optionally, the vehicle can be equipped with the anti-tank FGM-148 Javelin, which attacks the target on the “fire and forget” principle, which is great for an unmanned tank hunter.

Given the high saturation of the modern theater of military operations with reconnaissance and surveillance, the developers of RCV-Light reduced the robot's signature as best they could. The hybrid propulsion system applied to the robot reduces machine noise and makes it virtually invisible in the infrared range. The internal combustion engine, as an integral part of any hybrid, is responsible for driving in "peaceful conditions". Massive rubber tracks and rubberized rollers work to reduce noise. Despite all the tricks, developers and future users are already saying that the car belongs to the category of consumables, and no one will regret such combat losses.

Older brothers


In line with the now fashionable network-centric wars, the RCV-Light tracked drone is part of a large unmanned system. The older brother, with whom the baby is related to the modular control architecture with an open system (MOSA), is the RCV-Medium mini-tank. In early 2020, a consortium of Textron, Howe & Howe and FLIR Systems won the Pentagon's competition to develop a mid-range strike land drone under the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program.

Four prototypes have already been built and are taking part in joint tests with RCV-Light. The main requirement for the mass and dimensions of the middle-class robot was the ability to be transported in the holds of the transport C-130 Hercules. Based on this, the mass of prototypes can vary from 15 to 18 tons. Functionally, the vehicle will be much more dangerous than its younger brother - it has a 30-40 mm automatic cannon and several anti-tank missiles in its arsenal.

The heaviest tracked robot of the family is called the Robotic Combat Vehicle-Heavy (RCV-H) and it is supposed to fatten up to 30 tons, and also equip it with the Armata killer weapon. The strategic mobility of the heavy vehicle will be provided by the C-17 Globemaster III. In many ways, this very unmanned tank will replace the classic "Abrams". The Americans have already prioritized the combat use of such equipment - the light RCV-Light will go to the hottest spots first of all (not so sorry), then RCV-Medium will enter the battle and, finally, only against the highest priority targets will be sent RCV-heavy H.


Medium-class drone RCV-Medium. Source: militaryleak.com

The developers, despite the mastery of a number of technologies, talk about the difficulties associated with teaching artificial intelligence to drive a car in combat and rough terrain. With flying drones, everything was much easier - the number of external factors was several times less. But, given the interest of the Pentagon and the obvious lack of such equipment in the troops, the programmers intend to solve all the problems within two to three years.

The US Army is currently testing four RCV-Lights in conjunction with RCV-Medium vehicles. By the end of 2021, there are plans to conduct robotic maneuvers at the company level using 8-16 tracked drones of various classes. Putting into service, apparently, will take quite a long time - only by 2022 it is planned to equip experimental combat units with 16 vehicles for full-fledged field tests.

Turkish drones against Donbass


Today, Russia, which for a long time did not pay attention to flying and ground drones, is forced to scatter resources, making up for lost time in all areas. The priorities for development, of course, include attack UAVs and kamikaze drones, the absence of which could become an operational-tactical tragedy for the Russian army in the future. For example, Ukraine has expressed its readiness to continue purchasing Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and has already transferred some of the drones to Donbass.

Numerous videos of the destruction of manpower and equipment in Nagorno-Karabakh can tell about how this can turn out for the militias and the regular army of the DPR.

The Ukrainians even intend to bypass possible sanctions related to the supply of foreign engines to Bayraktar and offer their counterparts.

In this situation, there is no reason to hope for the imminent appearance of tracked and wheeled robots (similar to the American ones) in the Russian army - they would have time to figure it out with their own flying drones.
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  1. Asad
    Asad 21 November 2020 05: 24
    -4
    Something that morning did not work out, that you cannot read on VO, everything is bad! It is necessary to dilute the negative a little!
    1. jonht
      jonht 21 November 2020 05: 26
      -2
      It's just that they started talking less about our developments, either it became stricter with secrecy, or there were fewer talkers. hi
      1. lwxx
        lwxx 21 November 2020 06: 50
        +5
        It's just that they began to talk less about our developments, either it became stricter with secrecy, or there were fewer talkers
        You are not entirely correct. Our secrecy concerns strategic forces and developments. And everything that can be sold requires good PR. And here is the problem .... We are lagging behind, both in development and in sales. We are laughing at the Chinese, and they are doing their job on the sly, praising their own, albeit copied and not always successful. but are advancing on the arms market.
      2. Orel
        Orel 21 November 2020 07: 03
        0
        Quote: jonht
        It's just that they started talking less about our developments, either it became stricter with secrecy, or there were fewer talkers.


        Some robots were shown about a year or two ago, even they were tested in Syria, it seems, everyone is working with this, ethical problems are already raised there, it's one thing when it's a suicide drone and another when it's actually a "cleaner" machine for killing people, with ground robots, everything will end with artificial intelligence, since it is difficult to control them remotely, terrain, buildings, interference, so ground robots will be a revolution, but they will raise a serious question of the ethics of their creation, because they will be independent, otherwise they will be of little use
      3. SovAr238A
        SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 28
        +7
        Quote: jonht
        It's just that they started talking less about our developments, either it became stricter with secrecy, or there were fewer talkers. hi


        Let's remember our earlier highly publicized Uranus.
        About which we tried, like "not having analogues in the world"about 3-4 years.
        After export to Syria - all tryndezh - like a grandmother whispered ...

        Why?
        "It's Fiasco, Bro!"(c) video with a dog in a tree

        A complete fiasco of widely advertised squalor ...
        And they did nothing else.

        So it turns out that what they were shouting about became a complete mess. And nothing new has been invented.
        That's "silence has become in the library"
    2. Intruder
      Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 00
      -1
      That morning did not work out, that you cannot read on VO, then everything is bad
      Most likely, it didn’t work out from the aching realization that until this morning, we had successfully accomplished a lot in the fields: "cybernetics and robotics are like walking girls of developed imperialism" !?
  2. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 21 November 2020 05: 26
    0
    UAVs are the future. Due to the lack of a crew, there is no need for a large armor volume of the fighting compartment, and this reduces the mass of the tank with the same armor protection and armament, or with the same mass, armor protection and armament can be increased. This will be especially beneficial in aviation, since there is no need for booking a cockpit to protect the pilot, as well as all life support and rescue equipment such as oxygen cylinders and a catapult.
    1. Vita vko
      Vita vko 21 November 2020 06: 45
      +2
      Quote: Kot_Kuzya
      UAVs are the future.

      No one argues, but there are serious doubts about the advisability of placing ultra-expensive electronics in a weakly armored case at a time when it is much cheaper to modernize old tanks, making them unmanned.
      1. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 11: 05
        -14 qualifying.
        Quote: Vita VKO
        Quote: Kot_Kuzya
        UAVs are the future.

        No one argues, but there are serious doubts about the advisability of placing ultra-expensive electronics in a weakly armored case at a time when it is much cheaper to modernize old tanks, making them unmanned.

        Previously, mattresses were used to replace people with blacks. But now black livez matter, so I had to shove electronics laughing
        And we have Tajiks, no one cares about their lives.
      2. Proctologist
        Proctologist 21 November 2020 11: 37
        +2
        I believe that "super-expensive" electronics, after its development and release into a series, does not exist. If you do not include R&D, then electronics are relatively cheap - production, replication is not so expensive. With regard to the delivery of military equipment to the "hot spot" and its supply with fuel and ammunition. I remember how the Americans gave away expensive MRAPs because it was not profitable to bring them back from Iraq / Afghanistan. And now a ground-based drone is seen not more expensive, but cheaper than conventional equipment, since it can be smaller and lighter. Less (by orders of magnitude) reserve volume, lower security requirements - all these factors are multiplied. You can immediately have a less powerful engine, less fuel for it, etc.

        Having read science fiction, I believe that the future lies precisely with cheap robots, flocks of such robots that you do not mind exchanging for a single soldier or a truck. And their protection should be at the level of kamikaze, to ensure a single defeat of the enemy. If you're lucky. If you're unlucky, the next in the pack will be lucky. And the difference from a kamikaze is that such a drone can return. And re-enter the battle. In principle, the kamikaze also returned if the target was not found.
      3. Intruder
        Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 02
        -2
        in the expediency of placing ultra-expensive electronics in a lightly armored case
        it is still easier to carry inexpensive "meat" in an equally weakly armored corps based on an armored personnel carrier or an infantry fighting vehicle / BMD!) :) and proudly sit in a "Ratnik" on armor, these very "mass graves of infantry and airborne troops" ...
  3. 7,62h54
    7,62h54 21 November 2020 06: 14
    -1
    The author began for health, finished for repose.
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 21 November 2020 07: 10
      -3
      Probably could not resist and, out of habit, created a bundle - USA-Ukroina laughing
      1. 7,62h54
        7,62h54 21 November 2020 07: 53
        +2
        And added a pinch of Karabakh, this is now in trend
      2. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 11: 27
        -3
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        Probably could not resist and, out of habit, created a bundle - USA-Ukroina laughing

        As if she is not there.
  4. Free wind
    Free wind 21 November 2020 06: 28
    +9
    American unmanned aerial vehicles perfectly showed their capabilities 20 years ago in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have fun laughing at the stupid and cowardly Yankees, we are not afraid of anything. And now they realized something, well, thanks to the Azerbaijanis for the interesting videos, otherwise there would be no such resonance.
    1. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 11: 29
      0
      Dull and weak cowards once invented a bow long ago so as not to converge in an honest duel on clubs ...
      1. SovAr238A
        SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 34
        0
        Quote: Narak-zempo
        Dull and weak cowards once invented a bow long ago so as not to converge in an honest duel on clubs ...


        And then they came up with cannons, machine guns, airplanes and tanks ... Precisely to "not converge" ...

        And all this is in service with our army.

        Do you think that we are stupid and weak cowards?
        1. Narak-zempo
          Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 13: 38
          -6
          Quote: SovAr238A
          And then they came up with cannons, machine guns, airplanes and tanks ... Precisely to "not converge" ...

          And all this is in service with our army.

          Do you think that we are stupid and weak cowards?

          You don't think dialectically.
          If we have a bow, and the enemy has a club, then we are smart, resourceful and, in general, civilizers and kulturtragers.
          And if on the contrary, then they are weaklings, cowards, and also, as an option, "hucksters" (according to Sombart).
          1. SovAr238A
            SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 41
            -1
            Quote: Narak-zempo
            Quote: SovAr238A
            And then they came up with cannons, machine guns, airplanes and tanks ... Precisely to "not converge" ...

            And all this is in service with our army.

            Do you think that we are stupid and weak cowards?

            You don't think dialectically.
            If we have a bow, and the enemy has a club, then we are smart, resourceful and, in general, civilizers and kulturtragers.
            And if on the contrary, then they are weaklings, cowards, and also, as an option, "hucksters" (according to Sombart).


            Those. we have gallant scouts, and they have vile spies?
            We are not on a political resource, but on a resource that should discuss the technical aspects of military affairs and military equipment.
            Without any national, racial, cultural, political orientation.
            So it will be clearer for you?

            Do you want to fight the liberals? Go to "Echo" or the sites of Navalny, Novaya Gazeta, and others - and fight there with real enemies.
            And here, let's discuss exactly the technique.
            Its pros and cons.
        2. Free wind
          Free wind 21 November 2020 17: 11
          0
          Well, the cowardly move on, drones and so on.
    2. Intruder
      Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 05
      -1
      We have fun laughing at the stupid and cowardly Yankees, we are not afraid of anything. And now they realized something
      so we always "laugh" last (after all, the prospects are not visible ...), behind the western "well, stupid ...", already a trend and "mental syndrome" in the Eastern part of Europe and half of Asia :)!
  5. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 11: 09
    -13 qualifying.
    In this situation, there is no reason to hope for the imminent appearance of tracked and wheeled robots (similar to the American ones) in the Russian army - they would have time to figure it out with their own flying drones.

    We have "Nerekhta", "Kungas", "Companion" and a heavy "Assault". So we are, if not ahead of the mattresses, then exactly on an equal footing.
    1. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 11: 25
      -10 qualifying.
      The first minus from the liberals and vsepropalschikov, who are all God's dew that pours into their eyes.
      1. SovAr238A
        SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 38
        +2
        Quote: Narak-zempo
        The first minus from the liberals and vsepropalschikov, who are all God's dew that pours into their eyes.


        Minus is pouring into you just because of your dew in your eyes.
        You write about what is not ...
        And people deservedly give you a minus - because you are lying.
        1. Narak-zempo
          Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 13: 42
          -10 qualifying.
          Quote: SovAr238A
          You write about what is not ...

          How is it not?
          Uranus-9, for example, has undergone military trials in Syria and has shown excellent results.
          1. SovAr238A
            SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 55
            0
            Quote: Narak-zempo
            Quote: SovAr238A
            You write about what is not ...

            How is it not?
            Uranus-9, for example, has undergone military trials in Syria and has shown excellent results.


            It failed completely ...
            What are great ????
            1. Narak-zempo
              Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 14: 02
              -8
              https://rg.ru/2019/04/04/razrabotchiki-ustranili-vse-nedostatki-boevogo-robota-uran-9.html
              1. SovAr238A
                SovAr238A 21 November 2020 14: 16
                +3
                Quote: Narak-zempo
                https://rg.ru/2019/04/04/razrabotchiki-ustranili-vse-nedostatki-boevogo-robota-uran-9.html


                Well ?
                In the Russian newspaper everything is written the same as on the fences ...
                The result is where?
                Have you started to produce? No!

                The machine is crude in terms of control concept ...
                True, in the absence of understanding how to manage it, what means of communication should be, how they should be protected, etc.

                They hung a lot of things, but there is no longer a connection at 500 meters ...
                The reaction time (lag from the moment the command is transmitted from the operator to the actions of the actuators) is from 15 seconds and longer ...

                There, all management must be created from scratch.
                1. Narak-zempo
                  Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 14: 20
                  -8
                  Quote: SovAr238A
                  They hung a lot of things, but there is no longer a connection at 500 meters ...
                  The reaction time (lag from the moment the command is transmitted from the operator to the actions of the actuators) is from 15 seconds and longer ...

                  And this is you, excuse me, on which fence did you read it?
                  1. SovAr238A
                    SovAr238A 21 November 2020 14: 23
                    +3
                    Quote: Narak-zempo
                    Quote: SovAr238A
                    They hung a lot of things, but there is no longer a connection at 500 meters ...
                    The reaction time (lag from the moment the command is transmitted from the operator to the actions of the actuators) is from 15 seconds and longer ...

                    And this is you, excuse me, on which fence did you read it?

                    about a claim for 30 million from the Moscow region to the company that created the management and communication system - in the course?
                2. Intruder
                  Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 14
                  0
                  There is probably no more than 200 m. On an intersection, and not on a flat field of the polygon! Yes, and his armor is generally bad (armor-piercing incendiary ammunition - like a sentence ...), the dream of any sniper (he will fight with a machine-gun crew in position to destroy this beautiful and slow target :))!
            2. tank64rus
              tank64rus 21 November 2020 16: 01
              +2
              He was adopted after the work carried out, taking into account the wishes of the military and the experience of Syria. Now it is owned by the Kalashnikov concern.
            3. Interlocutor
              Interlocutor 21 November 2020 18: 03
              +2
              It failed completely ...


              What do you mean failed? I would like in more detail about the failure, and not about the reasoning ...
    2. SovAr238A
      SovAr238A 21 November 2020 13: 37
      +3
      Quote: Narak-zempo
      In this situation, there is no reason to hope for the imminent appearance of tracked and wheeled robots (similar to the American ones) in the Russian army - they would have time to figure it out with their own flying drones.

      We have "Nerekhta", "Kungas", "Companion" and a heavy "Assault". So we are, if not ahead of the mattresses, then exactly on an equal footing.


      Is there at least one fact of adopting the names you listed "?
    3. Intruder
      Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 06
      -1
      there is "Nerekhta", "Kungas", "Companion" and heavy "Storm".
      and how many of them, the demonstrators do not count! Exactly how many are in service, and how many were in real "combat" situations ???
  6. Nasdaq
    Nasdaq 21 November 2020 14: 11
    0
    The ground-based kamikaze drone must be developed. Optics and a bomb on board, nothing superfluous, simple as a Kalash. It is possible to attack (if small on batteries, then silent as a ninja) and from an ambush (a cunning mine leaving the bushes on the enemy's path) to use. Plus in standby mode as a reconnaissance guard, since the fuel consumption can be made very low, since there is no need to hang in the air.
    And you don't have to make it the size of a jeep. It can be like a small ATV, with minimal armor, or even better, a line from very small (tactical 2-3 kg partisan) to the size of an off-road vehicle (ala Shahid mobile), only lower, stuffed with gifts. bully
    Cheap, cheerful and effective. Technologically simpler than UAVs and flying kamikaze drones.
    A real topic, but so far neglected.
    Plus, no air defense will help.
    1. Narak-zempo
      Narak-zempo 21 November 2020 20: 43
      -1
      Quote: Nasdaq
      Technologically easier than UAVs and flying kamikaze drones

      Technologically, a driving drone is much more difficult than a flying / floating one.
    2. Souchastnik
      Souchastnik 23 November 2020 14: 44
      0
      The ground-based kamikaze drone needs to be developed.

      We put an anti-tank mine on the tracks from a model, a battery from a motorcycle, an acoustic, seismic, sensor and something else - that's all. The drone is ready. And if you unite in a flock, finally atas. laughing
      But! Don't oversimplify.
      1. Nasdaq
        Nasdaq 23 November 2020 15: 55
        0
        But the theme is fire. No gyro-stabilized optical and laser devices, no expensive ammunition with complex (in production) filling.
        Of course, you cannot send 300 km ahead, but it will give heat in the near zone, especially in defense.
  7. riwas
    riwas 22 November 2020 03: 39
    +2
    Tests of our "Uran-9" in Syria have revealed a number of its shortcomings, in particular its remote control.
    https://topwar.ru/143330-v-sirii-proyavilis-nedostatki-boevogo-robota-uran-9.html
    https://topwar.ru/147654-mechwarrior-po-russki-est-li-buduschee-u-robota-uran-9.html
    Therefore, using our and its experience, the United States decided to follow the path of using AI for its robots.
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 22 November 2020 09: 08
      +2
      Tests of our "Uran-9" in Syria
      , without asterisks on board!? :) That is, immediately left without control and this is on trials in Syria, against poorly trained barmaley, which would be against an equal enemy, I don't even want to imagine, alas and ah ...
  8. English tarantas
    English tarantas 25 November 2020 13: 32
    0
    127 mm machine gun M2 Browning.

    Powerfully