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AUSA 2022: Service eyeing January 2023 release of draft RCV-L prototyping solicitation

Shown here is the RCV-L vehicle from QinetiQ North America and Oshkosh Defense at AUSA 2022. The US Army has been using these robotic vehicles for various tests. (Janes/Ashley Roque)

The US Army is moving forward with plans to host a Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L) competition and will likely release a draft solicitation by early 2023, according to the Director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, Brigadier General Geoffrey Norman.

Several army leaders provided reporters with an RCV-L update on 11 October at the 2022 Association of the US Army's (AUSA's) annual conference in Washington, DC, to include new details about plans to acquire these unmanned vehicles.

Right now, the service wants to run two parallel efforts. The first is born out of the acquisition of four RCV-Ls from QinetiQ North America and Oshkosh Defense based on a ‘variant' of the Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV). The service has used these vehicles in a couple of soldier operational experiments, including one in mid-2022.

“We learnt a lot from soldiers about capabilities that they desire in robotic combat vehicles, things that they would want autonomy to do for them, and then other things that they would prefer to do themselves and they may not need to have [artificial intelligence] do for them,” Brig Gen Norman said. “Additionally, we learnt the importance of reliability and ruggedness in demanding environmental conditions.”

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