Australian Army demos autonomous armored vehicles
The Australian Army has demonstrated a pair of autonomous armored vehicles that it will use to study how robots will impact the battlefield of the future. At the Majura Training Site in the Australian Capital Territory, two specially modified M113 armored vehicles carried out battlefield simulations while the Chief of the Army looked on.
Whether one approves of them or not, robot warriors are becoming a fact of military life that planners must take into account when developing strategies and tactics. Since 2018, the Australian Army has been following its Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy to gain a better understanding of the potential of autonomous vehicles and their application in combat, intelligence, and logistical support while removing soldiers from the line of fire.
Part of a six-month project, the two Cold War-era M113s were specially modified by BAE Systems using an autonomous technologies suite that has already been used by British and Australian autonomy programs, including the Taranis, Mantis, and Kingfisher unmanned aerial vehicles, and the Multi-All-Terrain Vehicle (MATV) and Digger unmanned ground vehicle demonstrators. According to BAE, the vehicles will also include technologies developed by the Commonwealth’s Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS-DCRC).
"This project highlights our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and collaborating across industry and academia to advance autonomous capabilities," says BAE Systems Australia CEO, Gabby Costigan. "BAE Systems Australia’s autonomous systems' capability leverages more than three decades of collaboration between BAE Systems Australia and the Commonwealth Government through Programs such as Nulka and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). Autonomous technologies will support soldier responsiveness in an accelerating warfare environment – increasing their ability to outpace, out-maneuver and out-think conventional and unconventional threats.”
Source: BAE Systems