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Attacking rivalry lines as a heavily up-gunned armored robot, banishment lasers, knocking rivalry drones out of a atmosphere with “elevating” weapons, determining atmosphere and belligerent drones as networked “nodes” in quarrel and regulating AI to classify long-range targeting information — are all preferred attributes for a Army’s new battalion car – a Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.
The new vehicle, slated to eventually reinstate a decades-old Bradley, will grasp operational quarrel standing as shortly as 2026 — and, according to Army documents, pave a approach brazen into a new epoch of major, high-powered, mechanized warfare.
As it enters a new prototyping and exam proviso for a vehicle, a Army is serve enlightening a desirous and high-standard requirements. Service reports mention that a new OMFV contingency control unmanned remotely-controlled operations, lift adult to 6 soldiers with a two-man organisation and hurl off an Air-Force C-17 in groups of dual prepared to quarrel in 15minutes. These specifications, right out of a box, immediately call for several rare war-vehicle characteristics; they set a bar high, by requiring robotic-controls and a never-before-seen turn of expeditionary mandate for mobility and fast deployability.
Also, a new height will need middle size cannons means to “elevate” opposite atmosphere threats, glow lasers, work drones and glow missiles in all continue conditions. “The height should concede for mounted, dismount, and unmanned complement aim handover,” an Army news states.
The devise has been underway for many years now after a Army asked attention to invest, innovate and pull brazen of a technical curve. Interestingly, while a module began with 3 vital attention competitors, it competence have narrowed down to one – for a moment. BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and a Raytheon-Rheinmetall group all began building platforms; given this time, BAE Systems withdrew a bid and, according to some reports, a Raytheon-Rheinmetall “Lynx” car bid competence be on reason from fasten a subsequent phase. Citing several news reports, such as Defense News and Breaking Defense, an Oct. 10 Congressional Research Service news says a Raytheon-Rheinmetall offer was unfit due to not nearing on time. (this is reportedly due to hurdles compared with transporting a car from Germany).
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The Army has not publically reliable this information, as they are mostly wavering to plead sum per ongoing competitions – so many questions per a foe competence be open or yet-to-be resolved. The Lynx, engineered to glow TOW missiles, launch conflict drones and accommodate Army requirements, is doubtful to disappear from a competition, whatever a scenario. Also, regardless of any intensity short-term nuances during a march of a subsequent phase, a Army skeleton to open a foe to all vendors again several years from now. As a result, any car builder assembly Army mandate will be means to contention a proposal. The Army skeleton a prolongation foe in a 2023 time-frame.
“Army set tough requirements, so we purpose-built a height to broach it brazen of time,” Ret. Lt. Gen. Bob Lennox, Vice President for Global Strategy and Growth, GDLS, told Warrior.
U.S. Army Bradley fighting vehicle
One of a categorical competitors now relocating brazen with a Army, General Dynamics Land Systems, has been operative with a Army on mandate for many years. The organisation of march has a prolonged story of producing armored vehicles such as a Abrams tank. More recently, GD has been constantly advancing armored car record by a construction of future-oriented “Griffin” vehicles. Last year, GDLS showcased a Griffin III as an initial malcontent car for a OMFV car – afterwards called Next Generation Combat Vehicle. The Griffin’s 1-3 offering an event to plead options with a Army, GD officials said. The intent, GD developers said, was to accept Army submit as a approach to try to broach or surpass a service’s prophesy for a new vehicle.
“The Army has been transparent and unchanging with what they have wanted to do for years. The Army wanted attention to invest. We schooled what a Army wanted and we started investing to be ready. A few years ago a CEO wanted a vital joining to investments,” Lennox said.
GD’s vehicle, that has grown over a march of association investments and innovations for several years, seeks to accommodate a Army mandate with a 50mm “elevating” cannon, built-in Active Protection Systems, 360-degree perspective cameras, 3rd-Generation Forward-Looking-Infrared (FLIR) targeting sensors and a operation of new AI-enabled networking systems designed for destiny growth.
“They (the Army) asked for a complement that could take a 3rd-Gen FLIR. We have a horde of sensors and cameras on a vehicle. We consider a destiny is going to rest on open design to confederate sensors, EW and new AI applications.” Lennox said. “We accommodate all a threshold mandate and open systems and many of a design requirements.
Lennox serve extended a contention by elaborating on some of GDs strategies and technical applications. For instance, their OMFV integrates an Active Protection System into a vehicle, though wanting an applique or bold-on system. APS is of march engineered to used computer-aided sensors, glow control and interceptors to brand and destroy coming rivalry RPG glow in milliseconds.
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Its robotic technical functions, it goes though saying, are a endless quarrel priority for a Army; an unmanned car can broach forward-deployed fires, lift weapons and ammunition and duty as a sensor node in dangerous or high-threat areas reduction permitted to manned crews. Using modernized algorithms, a Army seeks to work with attention on manned-unmanned teaming wherein manned vehicles duty in a authority and control mode while concurrently doing a swift of atmosphere and belligerent robotic vehicles. As partial of this broader OMFV effort, a Army seeks a light, middle and complicated swift of Robotic Combat Vehicles to work in tandem with a OMFV.
The OMFV Congressional Research Service report, citing an Army Robotic Combat Vehicle Campaign devise – says a use requires a RCV – Light to be “less than 10 tons, with a singular car means of being ecstatic by rotary wing assets. It should be means to accommodate an anti-tank guided barb (ATGM) or a recoilless weapon.” RCV-Medium, by extension, can be as complicated as 20-tons and contingency transport on a C-130 armed with sensors and an ability to glow ATGMs and a middle cannon. Finally, a RCV-Heavy contingency be a “non-expendable” armed robotic height transportable by a C-17 and have an ability to destroy rivalry tanks and battalion fighting vehicles. While these vehicles can be remotely tele-operated, in a destiny a singular user will potentially be means to control a tiny swift of robotic vehicles regulating AI.
Interestingly, an letter in NATO Review Magazine takes adult this doubt of AI-enabled destiny worker technology. The news explains that drones in a “not-so-distant” destiny will be engineered to weigh and govern a accumulation of opposite contingencies depending on events in combat.
“Such drones are automatic with a vast series of choice responses to a opposite hurdles they competence accommodate in behaving their mission. This is not scholarship novella – a record is mostly developed,” a 2017 essay, called “Autonomous Military Drones: No Longer Science Fiction,” states.
U.S. Army photograph
In effect, this is precisely a kind of swell that will capacitate a singular user to control mixed drones, reaching new levels of autonomy. This means that unconstrained car radically have “options,” make decisions and select some courses of movement – all while a singular tellurian being stays in control creation essential decisions about a use of fatal force.
The largest area of focus, along with all of this, competence good be a “lethality” mandate of a OMFV. GD has been operative a Northrop Grumman Armament Systems to exam a new, high-tech 50mm cannon and operative never-before-seen turret-integration technologies.
“We designed a turret with new advanced, integrated ammo doing systems, fire-control and software. The pivotal is a ability to do this … it is designed for lethality,” Keith Barclay, Director of Strategy and Growth, GDLS, told Warrior.
According to Northrop information, a new 50mm cannon, referred to as a initial XM913, has some-more perspicacious energy than a Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s existent M242 25mm cannon.
Perhaps of biggest significance, a 50mm adds a new apartment of some-more fatal ammunition options, bringing a vastly increasing pouch of quarrel effects. The new gun has a full apartment of ammunition, including high-explosive rounds, airburst rounds and armor trenchant rounds; it is a same as they stream 30mm x 173mm rounds dismissed by a Stryker, nonetheless with additional “reach and lethality.” The ammunition, a vital importance of a 50mm’s developmental trajectory, will embody both “airburst” ammunition and a “proximity” fuse, Northrop developers say.
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“I’ve seen a 50mm fire, we can’t get that (ammo) by a 30mm feed tray,” Barclay said.
Engineers from both Northrop and GD stress that a rare range, malignancy and targeting systems are a outcome of endless partnership between a dual firms.
“We’ve teamed with them. They have built a 50mm cannon and we have built a turret to support it. It requires most some-more electrical power,” Barclay added.
Additional electrical energy is a elemental component of Army and attention OMFV development; most has been discussed over a years about how a Bradley is “maxing” out a upgradability in terms of weapons, power, sensors and other essential areas.
In growth for roughly 8 years, a 50mm cannon represents a new technical bid to operative what competence be called a “middle ground” kind of conflict cannon; it contingency not usually move some-more firepower, range, pointing and malignancy to armored quarrel , though also confederate into GD’s expeditionary destiny armored vehicle. In effect, a new car and cannon paint a new globe of conflict options, presenting new conflict options positioned between a 30mm sequence gun such as that dismissed by a Stryker — and a heavier 120mm cannon dismissed by an Abrams tank.
The 50mm gun and turret can, according to developers, rouse to strike air-targets such as rivalry drones or even helicopters in an bid to align with Army requirements.
The new OMFV seeks, among other things, to optimize a synergy of speed, deployability, fire-power an armor insurance into a singular vehicle. While a high order, such a singularity is indispensable to a Army strategy; attention and a Army see modernized long-range sensors, vastly softened speed and conflict record will themselves massively boost survivability. For instance, should AI-enabled information estimate capacitate crews to classify and bond differently manifold sensors, threats, maritime details, sensor submit can all by perceived most faster and some-more efficiently.
Naturally, lightweight combination armor is a really vast partial of this. Other than broadly observant those materials are enclosed in their offerings, attention developers are of march demure to mention materials sold to their offerings for confidence reasons. Congress, however, has privately tasked a Army to investigate and exam several new earnest lightweight armor technologies — mesophase representation CO fiber and graphitic CO froth car components. The House Armed Services Committee has asked Army merger to broach a news on growth and contrast by Nov of 2019.
The ability to capacitate lighter-weight armored vehicles to residence turf challenges, and off-road mobility aligns with commentary from methodical chronological investigate achieved years ago by a Dupuy Institute.
The investigate study, called “The Historical Combat Effectiveness of Lighter-Weight Armored Forces,” examined quarrel scenarios from Vietnam, The Korean War, a Persian Gulf War – and even WWII.
Commissioned by a US Army Center for Army Analysis, a investigate resolved that heavily armed, nonetheless lighter-weight, some-more maneuverable armored quarrel platforms could yield a estimable advantage to quarrel battalion in many scenarios.
“Vehicle weight is infrequently a tying cause in reduction grown areas,” a investigate writes.
Weight, speed and mobility characteristics are deemed essential for a tank’s ability to support battalion units, mechanized armored units and dismounted soldiers by trait of being means to cranky bridges, severe turf and other quarrel areas reduction permitted to existent 70-ton Abrams tanks.
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