Milirem’s Type-X robotic armored combat vehicle begins ground testing
Milirem Robotics has rolled out its Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) for its first mobility tests. Unveiled in 2020, the RCV is a medium-weight autonomous armored platform, designed to provide reconnaissance and fire support for mechanized units and convoys.
Just as military aerial drones come in a range of sizes, from hand-sized to large enough to act as combat jets, ground combat robots are showing a similar variety. While some army robots are tasked with supporting infantry in the field, the Type-X is made to support main battle tanks, personnel carriers, and other infantry fighting vehicles.
The Type-X is based on a modular system, with an autonomous, rubber-tracked platform on which can be fitted different payloads for different missions and means of deployment. The idea is not only to act as a less expensive force multiplier by using a robot instead of a human crew, but also to keep soldiers out of harm’s way as much as possible.
The main platform weighs 26,455 lb (12,000 kg) and can carry a payload of 9,039 lb (4,100 kg), which can include a 30 mm cannon when airdropped from a C-140 J Hercules transport or the KC-390 Millennium jet transport. Its medium size also allows an A400M Atlas to carry two Type-X’s and the C-17 Globemaster III five of them. The largest projectile module it can carry is a 50 mm cannon.
Other weapons that can be carried in the upper module’s low-profile, lightweight, remote-controlled turret include a M242 25 mm x 137 mm Bushmaster cannon, the 230LF 30 mm x 113 mm cannon, and anti-tank missiles, including the Alcotan, MMP, Javelin, or SPIKE.
With a height of only 26.6 inches (68 cm) and a rear-mounted engine, it has a considerable degree of stealth, but it can reach a maximum road speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) in forward and 31 mph (50 km/h) in reverse. According to Milirem, it’s four times lighter and costs much less than a conventional infantry fighting vehicle.
In addition, the Type-X is equipped with a 360-degree panoramic sight, and CCD, thermal, and fused imaging cameras. These work in concert with an artificial intelligence system that has follow-me, waypoint navigation, and obstacle detection functions and software that allows for emote control operations at higher speeds. The system also has intelligent predictive maintenance incorporating a Health and Usage Monitoring System and Line Replacement Unit principles.
“The Type-X will provide equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with infantry fighting vehicles, says Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “It provides means to breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk for own troops and replacing a lost RCV is purely a logistical nuance.”
The video below shows the Type-X going through its paces.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm