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BAE Systems launches robotic, driverless military vehicle at US Army expo

14 Oct 2019

Optics, electronics and software on robust chassis are foundation for "game-changing" battlefield capability, says defense giant.

BAE Systems is this week launching a new type of driverless terrestrial military vehicle prototype called the Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC, USA.

The tank-like vehicle depends on a range of sensors and optical systems for operation and control. BAE says the RTD, “represents a leap-ahead advancement for unmanned combat vehicles today.”

The defense systems developer adds that the RTD prototype “showcases advanced capabilities and is adaptable for future weapon systems, sensors and other payloads.”

Suite of sensors

The vehicle features autonomous mobility to help keep soldiers out of harm’s way, a suite of sensors for 360-degree situational awareness and surveillance, a Hybrid Electric Drive for fuel efficiency, a 30 mm remote weapons station, and a small legged robot for reconnaissance missions.

James Miller, director for business development at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles, commented, “The Robotic Technology Demonstrator is designed as a rolling lab to integrate emerging autonomy and lethality technologies for testing.

“Its advanced optics, electrical infrastructure, and software that have been integrated onto this robust chassis provide the foundation for game-changing battlefield capability. BAE Systems has built this demonstrator to help us determine the best way to mitigate risk for our soldiers while increasing their lethality.”

Flexible optics

The RTD technologies include sensors with true 360-degree situational awareness to include long-wave infrared imaging, signal processing and video distribution. It also includes a tethered unmanned aerial system to support situational awareness and reconnaissance.

The RTD prototype is said to “leverage decades of BAE Systems expertise in the design and development of combat vehicles, as well as advanced electronic systems.” Visitors to the AUSA expo can see the RTD on BAE Systems’s booth (number 6343) in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center through October 16th.

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