At Overt Defense we have covered a multitude of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCV) that are gradually being adopted for various roles by militaries around the world. From reconnaissance to casualty evacuation, most of these are focussed on light roles, either replacing or supplementing infantry. But now one European manufacturer is moving the RCV very much into the heavy combat role.
The Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle, developed by Estonian-based Milrem Robotics, is a much larger and heavier RCV than are generally being produced and tested. Designed to act as an intelligent wingman to main battle tanks (MBTs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), it is intended to be capable of taking on the most dangerous tasks, protecting soldiers who would otherwise have to carry out these roles.
Capable of carrying an autocannon in the 25mm to 50mm range, the Type-X was just passed its initial mobility tests after a development program of just 18 months. Equipped with a 30mm cannon the RCV is also air-droppable – the C-130J and the KC-390 can carry one Type-X, an A400M two and a C-17 5 of them.
Speaking of the new vehicle Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, said:
“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.”
Weighing only 12 tons, the Type-X has a high power-to-weight ratio with a hybrid drive system. This provide the RCV with a top speed across country of 30 mph both forward and in reverse, as well as a low heat signature.
As the Type-X is approximately two to three times lighter than most manned-IFVs, it’s maintenace costs are also reported to be significantly lower than that of a conventional vehicle. The new RCV has been designed with intelligent predictive maintenance to further improve on lifecycle costs and logistic footprint.
Milrem has had a great amount of success in the field of UGVs already. The company’s TheMIS UGV as already been acquired by ten countries and the knowledge gained from this product has been utilised to develop the new offering. With increasing attention on RCVs, expect various militaries to be looking at the Type-X with interest in the near future.