US Army ‘defers' Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium fleet development

by Ashley Roque

An RCV-M prototype fires a round at a target during the vehicle's live-fire testing at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in June 2021. The service has decided it will postpone development of this larger robot, and instead focus on developing the RCV-L. (US Army)

US Army soldiers will not be operating a Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium (RCV-M) fleet any time soon after service leaders decided to postpone such a future programme to first focus on developing a fleet of smaller unmanned vehicles, according to Doug Bush, the service's assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology.

The service selected QinetiQ North America and Pratt Miller (now acquired by Oshkosh Defense) to build four RCV-Light (RCV-L) prototypes in early 2020, and a Textron Systems, Howe & Howe Technologies, and FLIR Systems team to build four RCV-M prototypes. Once the service received the vehicles it embarked on a testing series designed to lead up to a soldier experiment between June and August 2022.

However, the army has already decided it will move forward with RCV-L development, and an associated ‘full and open' competition, while also planning to develop a larger fleet.


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Saab wins SEK190 million Norwegian combat training contract

by Olivia Savage

Norway extends life of its GAMER live training solution with Saab. (Saab)

Saab has been contracted to support Norway's training and simulation facilities, including the Combat Training Centre in Rena, the company announced on 22 February.

As part of the contract, the company will offer support, service, and maintenance for the modular GAMER (gunnery and manoeuvre exercise) live training system, a company spokesperson confirmed to Janes .

The contract totals SEK190 million (USD18.4 million) and spans between 2024 and 2027.

According to the spokesperson, the contract includes logistical, operational, and engineering support to the Norwegian Armed Forces to ensure the availability and status of their live training solutions. The equipment includes a suite of GAMER modular solutions, among other soldier, vehicle, and communication systems as well as EXCON (Exercise Control) software.

Saab has been providing the Norwegian Armed Forces with training and simulation systems since 2004. This contract will help to retain its capability to train units up to brigade level in-country as well as abroad.


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Trident nuclear missile test from HMS Vanguard fails

by Kate Tringham & Dr. Lee Willett

HMS Vanguard is the lead boat of a four-strong class of Trident-armed SSBNs whose role is to provide the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent. (UK MoD)

The test firing of an unarmed Trident II D5 missile from one of the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) has failed, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

During the test launch, which took place from HMS Vanguard (S28) off the US eastern seaboard on 30 January, an “anomaly” occurred, an MoD spokesperson told Janes .

“As a matter of national security, we cannot provide further information on this, however, we are confident that the anomaly was event-specific, and therefore there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpile. The UK's nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective,” the spokesperson said.

Vanguard, which had recently completed a seven-year deep maintenance and refuelling period at Babcock International's Devonport Royal Dockyard facility in Plymouth, carried out the missile demonstration in the US as the final step in its post-refit trials programme before being returned to operations.


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RNLA's first GM200 MM/C radar demonstrated during live firings

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The RNLA's first MMR after it was demonstrated during live firings at the Dutch MoD's 't Harde firing range on 15 February. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

The first Ground Master 200 Multi Mission/Compact (GM200 MM/C) radar handed over to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) by Thales in Hengelo on 14 February was demonstrated during live firings at the Dutch Ministry of Defence's 't Harde firing range the next day.

The Multi-Mission Radar (MMR), as it is designated in RNLA service, tracked 81 mm mortar rounds and 155 mm Panzerhaubitze (PzH) shells fired at the range, as well as a pair of Puma unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with their trajectories and flightpaths shown in 2D and 3D on large-screen displays to an international military audience, local journalists, and Janes at 't Harde. Also displayed in 2D were the tracks of airliners flying above at an altitude of 3 km, but clutter from birds was filtered out. The Puma UAVs could also be seen moving away from the PzH 2000s' trajectories.

The MMR was able to determine the points of origin and impact of the mortar and artillery fire, which began with fire for effect and ended with salvos.


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US Army soldiers will not be operating a Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium (RCV-M) fleet any time soon a...

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