Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Battle Bots Arrive

The Army will test robotic vehicles using a Bradley and two armed remotely controlled robotic vehicles controlled by the crew of the Bradley:

Soldiers will use a platoon’s worth of robotic vehicles controlled from the back of modified Bradly Fighting Vehicles sometime next year.

The test moves beyond the basic “robotic wingman” pursuits that have so far led how the mechanized community of the Army is getting at using semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles.

Each modified Bradley will operate with the robots as a three-combat vehicle platoon.

This is very similar to the "M11A1 Legion main battle tandems" I incorporated into a failed essay for an Army Mad Scientist contest. I imagined them as a rail gun-equipped heavy vehicle that stayed out of line of sight and partnered with a screen of direct fire/ISR robotic vehicles. Although I did not have space to spell the latter out, relying on the "tandem" in MBT replacing "tank" to imply partners, as did the "Legion" name.

Let's see how that concept works out.

I hope the wingmen remain inexpensive and relatively disposable rather than get gold plated until they are as precious as the crewed vehicles that control them.

Because I suspect that networked forces fighting under persistence surveillance will suffer high attrition, and our robots need to be more like adequate mass-produced Sherman tanks rather than powerful but expensive (and scarce) King Tigers.