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AUSA 2022: Textron Systems unveils the smaller Ripsaw M3

On the left is Textron Systems' Ripsaw M5 and on the right is the M3. (Textron Systems)

Textron Systems is showcasing its new, smaller Ripsaw M3 technology demonstrator at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2022 conference, its potential bid for the upcoming Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-L) competition.

David Phillips, the company's senior vice-president of land and sea systems, spoke with Janes on 4 October ahead of the AUSA conference in Washington, DC, held from 10 to 12 October, about plans to compete in an RCV-L competition.

Based in part on the company's medium-sized Ripsaw M5 design, the M3 technology demonstrator is a tracked, flatbed design with 35.6 cm of ground clearance, a 11,000 lb curb weight (6,000 lb gross weight and space for 5,000 lb of payload), and is 203.2 cm wide, Phillips said.

β€œIt is a smaller, lighter variant, but takes in a lot of the learnings, a lot of the maturity that has now been demonstrated in our M5 product,” Phillips said. He added that the robotic vehicle at the show will not be the company's final RCV-L bid but an internally funded jumping off point to reduce risk once the army finalises its programme requirements. For example, the version at the army conference is all-electric powered but the company plans to offer a hybrid-electric version for the RCV-L competition.

Phillips also detailed six important changes to the M3 based on lessons learned from army testing with the M5.

First, it can β€œswim” and navigate wet gaps.

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