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Australian Army tests remote firing capability of uncrewed APC

An Australian Army M113AS4 armoured logistics vehicle, fitted with optionally crewed combat vehicle technology and a remote weapon station, fires from a support-by-fire position during a human-machine team exercise at Puckapunyal Military Area. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army's Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO) and Electro Optic Systems (EOS) have conducted a remote firing exercise from an uncrewed M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) at Puckapunyal Military Area in Victoria, EOS said in a press release on 3 April.

The uncrewed M113, equipped with EOS' R400 remote weapon system (RWS), “successfully” engaged targets at distances of 300 m and 600 m during the exercise, EOS added.

The RWS integrated on the M113 APC was remotely controlled from EOS' facility in Canberra – approximately 550 km away from Puckapunyal Military Area – during the exercise, according to EOS.

The exercise also showcased counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) capabilities of the RWS by intercepting both stationary and moving UAV targets at distances of up to 500 m.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Firepower, Survivability & Mobility , the R400 is a remotely operated, two-axis stabilised weapon system that is electrically driven with continuous traverse through 360° and a weapon elevation range of -20° to +60°.

The R400 standard weapon options include a 40 mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher (AGL), .50 calibre (12.7 mm) M2 HB machine gun (MG), 7.62 mm M240 MG, or the 5.56 mm M249 MG.

In addition to these weapons, EOS has also integrated other weapons including the 7.62 mm M134D MG, .50 calibre (12.7 mm) GAU19/A Gatling gun, 25 mm XM307 airburst weapon, 30 mm M230 Bushmaster cannon, and 40 mm Mk 47 AGL.

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