Military Review

Experimental combat vehicle Black Knight

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Remote-controlled military equipment is becoming more widespread. There are a considerable number of similar machines for various purposes and the number of such projects is constantly increasing. Some of these developments have already firmly entered the structure of the armed forces (unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.), while others are still only at the design or testing stage. At the same time, for several reasons, the greatest attention is currently being paid to remotely controlled aircraft and helicopters. Unmanned Tanks or self-propelled artillery mounts have not yet become a combat weapon of the armies. Nevertheless, work in this direction is already underway. Back in 2007, BAE Systems published information about its new project designed to solve this problem.


Experimental combat vehicle Black Knight


In the first half of the last decade, BAE Systems specialists were actively engaged in the problem of creating ground-based combat equipment that did not need the direct presence of a crew. The work was carried out under the program UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle - "Unmanned Ground Vehicle"). The aim of the project was to create the basic systems and technologies necessary for the development of a full-fledged combat vehicle for the ground forces. The first results of the UGV program appeared in the middle of the two thousandth. In 2006, the first tests of a specially created experimental machine took place, and by the end of next year, BAE Systems had published some technical details.

The first result of the UGV program was an experimental Black Knight armored vehicle (“Black Knight”), built, roughly, in the 2006 year. Some components of the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle were widely used in its design. "Black Knight" is a fighting machine, resembling a tank, but with the protection and weaponry at the level of the BMP. This appearance was due to the experimental nature of the project. The first Black Knight prototype was built exclusively for working out basic technical solutions, which is why future production machines built using the solutions and technologies obtained are likely to have a different look.

However, in its current form, the “Black Knight” can find its niche in the structure of the ground forces. Fighting machine is a kind of tank of small size. The length of the experimental machine does not exceed 5 meters, the width is equal to 2,44 m, the height is no more than 2 m. The combat weight of the prototype is approximately equal to 9,5 tons. Dimensions and weight allow the Black Knight to be transported on the Lockheed C-130 medium military transport aircraft. So far this is only an interesting feature of the project, but in the future, weight and dimensional characteristics can help find the use of new combat vehicles.



The first Black Knight prototype is equipped with a Caterpillar engine with horsepower 300. As can be seen in the available photos, the engine compartment is located in the front of the case. The tracked undercarriage incorporates five road wheels on board. Having such a power plant and a chassis prototype machine "Black Knight", allegedly on the highway can reach speeds up to 77 kilometers per hour. Other driving performance has not yet been announced.

On the case of the machine is mounted a relatively large tower. Judging by its size, the bulk of its internal volumes is given for various electronic equipment. In addition to electronics, Black Knight carries weapons similar to arms BMN M2 Bradley. This is an automatic gun M242 caliber 25 millimeters and 7,62-mm machine gun M240 paired with it. Probably, the choice of weapons, as well as in the case with the general appearance, was due to the experimental nature of the project. 25-mm gun and machine gun are sufficient to test the general capabilities of new radio-electronic systems.



The front and top of the tower of the "Black Knight" are equipped with numerous sensors and systems. Thus, one of several video cameras was installed next to the weaponry. In addition, on the front of the tower there are four (two on each cheekbone) block of stereoscopic video cameras. Such equipment is used to enable the operator of the complex to drive a car, having a complete picture of the environment, which is slightly different from that observed through ordinary viewing instruments. On the front of the tower and on the cheekbones, there are four laser radars (LADAR) on the turning devices. As can be seen from their location, the middle two (sides of weapons) scan the terrain in a horizontal plane, and the two extreme (on the cheekbones of the tower) - in the vertical. On the roof of the tower in a characteristic trapezoidal casing there are video cameras for driving and aiming. As a panoramic observational device used cameras on a rotatable installation. In addition, the tower has a data antenna, a GPS navigation system receiver and a number of other systems.

All information collected by cameras, radars and sensors is transmitted via a secure radio channel to a ROCS control station (Robotic Operator Control Station). It is assumed that the control panel and all associated systems will be executed in the form of a compact portable console or placed on any armored vehicle, for example, on the M2 Bradley BMP or any other suitable vehicle. The ROCS station displays all the necessary driving information about the operation of the systems of the controlled machine, as well as information about the route, goals and objectives. The main control body is a controller with a large number of buttons and switches. If necessary, some of the functions, such as motion control or search for targets, can be assigned to the electronics operating in automatic mode.



As stated in the first press releases, some technical solutions were tested during the 2006 tests of the year. One of the main goals of these works was to work out the movement of the machine along the route using remote control and management systems, including overcoming various obstacles. In 2007, the first tests with the use of weapons took place. So, in January, 2007, during tests at the Fort Knox (Kentucky) test site, operators who were in the M2 Bradley BMB at some distance from the Black Knight machine, managed to take it to the position, and then detect and destroy the training target. In addition, during these tests, automatic control showed itself well, which coped well with driving an armored vehicle and searching for targets.

According to recent reports, the designers of BAE Systems continued to work on improving the performance of the Black Knight. Among the goals was the complete integration of the control and communications complex of the remotely controlled armored vehicle with the existing military communications and control system. In addition, a promising combat vehicle should be able to move independently along the designated route, with only partial information about the landscape. In this case, it was separately noted that the decision to open fire always remained and remains for the operator.

The latest information on the progress of the UGV program as a whole and the Black Knight project was announced only a few years ago. Which way the project is going at present remains unknown. In addition, a number of issues that have emerged several years ago remain relevant. For example, there is still no information about the potential possibility not only of independent movement of a combat vehicle, but also of fully autonomous work on searching and attacking targets. Another important issue is the scope of application of advanced remote-controlled combat vehicles. Among other options, work was called as a reconnaissance vehicle, as well as escorting infantry fighting vehicles on the march and during operations.



Judging by the absence News in recent years, the UGV program, as well as part of it in the form of the Black Knight project, has become seriously stuck at the stage of testing and experimental testing. Thus, in the near future, the UGV program may become the basis for a new project of remotely controlled ground equipment suitable for practical use in the army. On the other hand, the complexity of such projects may lead to a different result. The creation of remotely controlled equipment is a rather complicated task. The development of similar projects, involving the possibility of full automatic operation, is becoming an even more difficult problem. Apparently, BAE Systems is currently facing some difficulties, which led to a serious delay in the project.


On the materials of the sites:
http://gurkhan.blogspot.ru/
http://defense-update.com/
http://rnd.cnews.ru/
http://dailytech.com/
http://popmech.ru/
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  1. washi
    washi 10 September 2013 09: 25 New
    +5
    Well, I do not trust the remote control. Even remotes to TVs sometimes start to fail. And here it is much more complicated. Management can be intercepted or simply disrupted.
  2. Max otto
    Max otto 10 September 2013 10: 04 New
    +2
    Great thing for petty-regional conflicts and special operations.
    Quote: Vasya
    Well, I do not trust the remote control. Even remotes to TVs sometimes start to fail. And here it is much more complicated. Management can be intercepted or simply disrupted.

    But if your own software, then it will be impossible to intercept control.
    1. luiswoo
      luiswoo 10 September 2013 12: 18 New
      +4
      Quote: Max Otto
      But if your own software, then it will be impossible to intercept control.

      [sarcasm] Robbers, bear cubs, spies and hackers, you completely agree - the property is inviolable. [/ Sarcasm]
      1. Max otto
        Max otto 10 September 2013 13: 59 New
        -2
        As an example, the decoding of Egyptian hieroglyphs has not been completed so far, there is no guarantee at all that what you read is written - all this is only an assumption. Therefore, the degree of ownership of the software can be different: in your own language, and even the Russian alphabet - spies and hackers are generally not needed. Here, in fact, only the bear cub will save the spy. wink
        1. Fofan
          Fofan 10 September 2013 19: 37 New
          0
          Quote: Max Otto
          As an example, the decoding of Egyptian hieroglyphs has not been completed so far, there is no guarantee at all that what you read is written - all this is only an assumption. Therefore, the degree of ownership of the software can be different: in your own language, and even the Russian alphabet - spies and hackers are generally not needed. Here, in fact, only the bear cub will save the spy. wink

          The word decompiler is empty for you. but trying to teach
        2. GHG
          GHG 11 September 2013 02: 20 New
          0
          As an example, the decoding of Egyptian hieroglyphs has not been completed so far, there is no guarantee at all that what you read is written

          Do not compare the hieroglyphs with the machine, binary number system in the form of 1 and 0. Which even if it has a floating code. You only need time to decrypt it.
    2. loft79
      loft79 10 September 2013 13: 56 New
      0
      Quote: Max Otto
      But if your own software

      What do you mean by "own software"?
      1. Max otto
        Max otto 10 September 2013 14: 03 New
        0
        You for which country? For Russia, for a start, its own OS.
        1. loft79
          loft79 10 September 2013 14: 49 New
          +1
          Do you think that we do not develop specialized system software for the military? So it’s kind of being developed.
          1. Max otto
            Max otto 10 September 2013 17: 25 New
            0
            It’s even wonderful that there is still being developed. Only UAVs fly with Toshiba and Samsung laptops, and they have Windows for sure.
            1. loft79
              loft79 10 September 2013 23: 20 New
              +2
              Unfortunately I do not know, not in the subject.
              But here’s what they write on the Internet:

              A bit not a UAV, but also a military sphere laughing
              -"Everything is programmed on modifications of the Assembler language, because microelectronics are used, and assembler is most effective. However, the modifications are such that they are strikingly different from the original language, so that it would be more difficult for the enemy to understand the operation of the device"
              -"At my military department, programming skills came in handy when parsing the control commands of the Central Exhibition Complex. It’s a lot of specific, but it looks like assembler. Actually, I called it" military assembler "to myself."

              -"You know about the OS, technology, and more ...
              I, as a person, until recently, somehow connected with it, I will say that this question should not be asked here in a different form. It’s just that these things are ... not only secretly secret, but which are not customary to talk about at every corner. People who work with this and are able to give a competent answer, as a rule, have admission forms and relate to what they say in public with caution.
              And so - our military has its own operating systems (MSVS was mentioned, but it’s not the only one of its kind and very outdated), and its SZI, and document management systems, and development systems ... The whole research institutes are working on this. "Ahead of the planet, the guys are not really running at all, but everything is certified, and you can work with this in case of urgent need and a real military threat from the developing countries of alternative and familiar software"


              We have a lot of good programmers, not everyone has left to work for melkosoft and Co.
              1. poquello
                poquello 11 September 2013 01: 28 New
                +2
                Quote: loft79
                Unfortunately I do not know, not in the subject.
                But here’s what they write on the Internet:

                "Everything is programmed on modifications of the Assembler language, because microelectronics are used, and assembler is most effective. However, the modifications are such that they are strikingly different from the original language, so that it would be more difficult for the enemy to understand the operation of the device"


                The student’s thought smiled. The assembler is written for the device and replaces the set of numbers with mnemonics, you can replace the usual mnemonics with exclusive ones, but if you know the architecture of the device, the machine codes are disassembled into familiar ones. In general, assembler is not quite a language, rather a family of languages ​​united by the primary interpretation of machine codes.
                1. loft79
                  loft79 11 September 2013 03: 04 New
                  +1
                  Quote: poquello
                  but if you know the architecture of the device, the machine codes are disassembled into familiar

                  I think that a person meant that the device is super secret (accordingly, the enemy is also not aware of the architecture), but the enemy has a code according to which, with proper analysis, this architecture can be calculated well, etc. laughing
                  1. poquello
                    poquello 11 September 2013 20: 49 New
                    +1
                    Quote: loft79
                    Quote: poquello
                    but if you know the architecture of the device, the machine codes are disassembled into familiar

                    I think that a person meant that the device is super secret (accordingly, the enemy is also not aware of the architecture), but the enemy has a code according to which, with proper analysis, this architecture can be calculated well, etc. laughing


                    Yes, you need to have something, either an architecture or a compiler, otherwise the sunset is manually provided.
    3. Dimka off
      Dimka off 13 September 2013 18: 38 New
      0
      But if your own software, then it will be impossible to intercept control.

      if I'm not mistaken, a year or two ago, the Iranians intercepted an American drone with our equipment. So anything is possible.
  3. Hort
    Hort 10 September 2013 11: 38 New
    +6
    I remembered the cartoon "polygon" ...
    1. loft79
      loft79 10 September 2013 13: 41 New
      +2
      Similarly good . The first thought was.
  4. mirag2
    mirag2 10 September 2013 14: 22 New
    0
    A good machine, I wish we had one, only with a gun from the Yenisei -37mm 2A11, that would be the most suitable vehicle for urban battles!
    1. the polar
      the polar 10 September 2013 17: 39 New
      +3
      Quote: mirag2
      A good machine, I wish we had one, only with a gun from the Yenisei -37mm 2A11, that would be the most suitable vehicle for urban battles!

      The benefits of military robots are zero. But the very trend towards the widespread introduction of military robots indicates that the Western mentality has changed a lot, no one wants to fight, or rather die in the war for new markets, for the profits of bankers and TNCs. Hence the transition of Western armies to contract service, and the tendency to replace professionals with an army of military robots.
      Hence the conclusion suggests itself: in order to defeat the robotic army, it is necessary not to rivet even more robots themselves, but to develop powerful electronic warfare systems and electronic intelligence for direction finding and suppression of signals from command posts and their subsequent destruction. And small army robotics, of course, must be developed for reconnaissance, mine clearance, or vice versa mining.
      1. ruslan207
        ruslan207 10 September 2013 19: 50 New
        0
        A stalker 2t minator service looks better
  5. KG_patriot_last
    KG_patriot_last 10 September 2013 16: 42 New
    +2
    I immediately remembered: There was such a cool movie: The Wizard. The role of the robot killers of mankind were self-reproducing robots. One of them, based on the BTR-60 equipped with laser weapons, was chasing heroes and producing small cartridges ...
  6. cobalt
    cobalt 10 September 2013 21: 24 New
    +1
    There is our fantastic cartoon about a tank robot from Soviet times, there was a fantasy, reality will soon be.
  7. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 11 September 2013 00: 39 New
    0
    Cool cartoon. Indeed, we already live in a world of fiction, fiction of the 70s, but fiction with a greedy-cannibalistic essence. Remember the Strugatsky "Noon of the 21st Century". Developed, humane world of people. But how close it was.
  8. poquello
    poquello 11 September 2013 01: 42 New
    +1
    Cool tanks, I wonder how they will handle exceptions, such as losing communication when it is impossible to complete a task.
  9. tchoni
    tchoni 31 October 2013 16: 50 New
    0
    The trouble with robots is the ability to intercept control. Although limited use in local wars is already a plus and a breakthrough, but judging by the publication, this is far from that.
  10. tchoni
    tchoni 31 October 2013 16: 52 New
    0
    Yes, for local wars - that’s it. Although so far robots are losing to humans