The European robotics and autonomous systems developer Milrem Robotics has rolled out its medium-class Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) for initial mobility tests. First announced in June last year, the Type-X RCV is designed to provide reconnaissance and fire support for mechanized units and convoys.
Its creation was based on a wide range of experience gained during the development and testing of its flagship product, the THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle. According to the company’s press release, the Type-X will become an intelligent wingman to main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles capable of performing the most dangerous tasks and missions, which will reduce the risk of loss of manpower and military equipment.
The Type-X is designed in such a way that it can be easily upgraded and can be equipped with automatic cannons up to 50mm. With up to a 30 mm cannon, the RCV can also be dropped from the air by aircraft – the C-130J and KC-390 can carry one Type-X, the A400M two, and the C-17 five of them.
The lightweight (12 tonnes or 12,000 kg) of the Type-X RCV and high power, coupled with efficient power management, provide an excellent off-road capability. Besides, its low height (2.2 m) and a rear engine positioning provide a low visual and thermal footprint. It can carry a payload of 4,100 kg.
Besides, the vehicle is equipped with intelligent functions such as follow-me, waypoint navigation, and obstacle detection, with Artificial Intelligence being part of the algorithms. Milrem Robotics’ software developers have taken a completely new and innovative approach to enable Type-X to perform remote-controlled operations at high speeds.
In addition, the Type-X RCV is about three to four times lighter, and its cost is significantly lower than that of a conventional IFV. Intelligent health monitoring and modular replacement of various systems ensure low life cycle costs. In addition, its hybrid diesel-electric powertrain and rubber tracks significantly reduce maintenance costs during operation.
“The Type-X will provide equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with Infantry Fighting vehicles. It provides means to breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk for own troops, and replacing a lost RCV is purely a logistical nuance,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
The development of the Type-X with the support of the armed forces of an unspecified country should lead to a marketable product by mid-2023.