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US Army experimenting with weaponised Q-UGV for infantry

The US Army demonstrates its ‘lone wolf' quadruped unmanned ground vehicle at a reception for lawmakers on 26 July 2023. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

The US Army's ‘robotic dog' technology development programme is exploring how it could add an infantry rifle as a payload, the service told Janes recently.

The Ghost Robotics-made Vision 60 Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV) is currently being integrated with different sensors to see how well it can perform reconnaissance and other missions, Bhavanjot Singh, senior scientific technical manager for autonomy and automation for armaments systems at Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), told Janes on 26 July.

However, the service is exploring integrating the robot with a Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW), a new Sig Sauer XM7 Rifle, he said during a reception for lawmakers where the robot was displayed.

“The unique capability of the dog is the ability to traverse different types of terrain that wheeled vehicles may not be able to go,” Singh said. Other robotics platforms that the army is developing such as Project Origin robotic combat vehicle are larger and can be used in different formations.

The robot is designed – no matter its payload – to equip dismounted infantry soldiers as a “battle buddy”, Singh said. While the technology is still in development, the army hopes to drive the cost of the systems down so that they can be used as attritable unmanned vehicles to take risks in battle, so soldiers do not have to, he added.

The development process is focused on operations at the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) level, and the army has experimented with the service's M4A1 carbine attached to the robot.

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