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US Army conducts first RCV-M live-fire testing

The US Army is conducting shakedown testing with four Robotic Combat Vehicle – Medium (RCV-M) prototypes, and as part of this phase, has begun live-fire tests with the platforms' XM813 main gun and M240 machine gun.

Earlier this year, the Textron Systems, Howe & Howe Technologies, and FLIR Systems team delivered its fourth and final RCV-M prototype to the army that is based off the Ripsaw M5 and is outfitted with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace's PROTECTOR Medium Caliber Remote Weapon Station (MCT-30).

These vehicles then received government-developed autonomy software and can be paired up with modified Bradleys that are called Mission Enabler Technologies – Demonstrators (MET-Ds) for manned-unmanned teaming work, Major General Ross Coffman, the director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, told Janes in June prior to the test series beginning.

Towards the end of June, the service began RCV-M shakedown testing at Fort Dix, New Jersey, to include this first live-fire testing event designed to examine if the turret is properly integrated onto the vehicle. During this event, people inside the MET-D were able to ‘move, shoot, and communicate' with the RCV-M via a host of touchscreen panels and physical controls. They were also able to ‘wirelessly operate' the RCV-M weapon station to include firing the XM813 main gun and the M240 machine gun.

‘High-speed' cameras were used to look at the platform, cannon, and turret dynamics, while data collection systems located downrange were used to glean dispersion.

An RCV-M fires a round at a target during the vehicle's live-fire testing at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on 30 June. (US Army )

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