Thursday, December 29, 2016

US Army to Demo Robotic Wingman Vehicles in 2017

US Army to Demo Robotic Wingman Vehicles in 2017: The US Army is planning to demonstrate a host of combat vehicles in the role of robotic wingmen in 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia, as it prepares to enter an official program of record in 2023.

The service is already successfully teaming unmanned and manned aircraft in the field, pairing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with Shadow and Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft to fill the role of an armed scout helicopter after the Army retired its OH-58 Kiowa Warriors.

But teaming vehicles on the ground poses more challenges such as safely navigating around stationary or moving obstacles and rolling over rough terrain. The Army has a lot of thinking and experimenting ahead of itself to iron out concepts for today's and tomorrow's battlefield.

One of the efforts planned for the summer of 2017 at Fort Benning will assess whether it’s possible to give the weapons loader on an Abrams tank the responsibility to control unmanned air and ground vehicles by equipping the tank with an automatic loader, Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, the commanding general at the Army’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, said during a teleconference with reporters this month.