Military

Milirem's Type-X robotic armored combat vehicle begins ground testing

Milirem's Type-X robotic armor...
THe Type-X is designed to support main battle tanks in the field
THe Type-X is designed to support main battle tanks in the field
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THe Type-X is designed to support main battle tanks in the field
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THe Type-X is designed to support main battle tanks in the field
The Type-X can be fitted with a variety of mission modules on its base platform
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The Type-X can be fitted with a variety of mission modules on its base platform

Milirem Robotics has rolled out its Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) for its first mobility tests. Unveiled in 2020, the RCV is a medium-weight autonomous armored platform, designed to provide reconnaissance and fire support for mechanized units and convoys.

Just as military aerial drones come in a range of sizes, from hand-sized to large enough to act as combat jets, ground combat robots are showing a similar variety. While some army robots are tasked with supporting infantry in the field, the Type-X is made to support main battle tanks, personnel carriers, and other infantry fighting vehicles.

The Type-X is based on a modular system, with an autonomous, rubber-tracked platform on which can be fitted different payloads for different missions and means of deployment. The idea is not only to act as a less expensive force multiplier by using a robot instead of a human crew, but also to keep soldiers out of harm's way as much as possible.

The main platform weighs 26,455 lb (12,000 kg) and can carry a payload of 9,039 lb (4,100 kg), which can include a 30 mm cannon when airdropped from a C-140 J Hercules transport or the KC-390 Millennium jet transport. Its medium size also allows an A400M Atlas to carry two Type-X's and the C-17 Globemaster III five of them. The largest projectile module it can carry is a 50 mm cannon.

The Type-X can be fitted with a variety of mission modules on its base platform
The Type-X can be fitted with a variety of mission modules on its base platform

Other weapons that can be carried in the upper module's low-profile, lightweight, remote-controlled turret include a M242 25 mm x 137 mm Bushmaster cannon, the 230LF 30 mm x 113 mm cannon, and anti-tank missiles, including the Alcotan, MMP, Javelin, or SPIKE.

With a height of only 26.6 inches (68 cm) and a rear-mounted engine, it has a considerable degree of stealth, but it can reach a maximum road speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) in forward and 31 mph (50 km/h) in reverse. According to Milirem, it's four times lighter and costs much less than a conventional infantry fighting vehicle.

In addition, the Type-X is equipped with a 360-degree panoramic sight, and CCD, thermal, and fused imaging cameras. These work in concert with an artificial intelligence system that has follow-me, waypoint navigation, and obstacle detection functions and software that allows for remote control operations at higher speeds. The system also has intelligent predictive maintenance incorporating a Health and Usage Monitoring System and Line Replacement Unit principles.

"The Type-X will provide equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with infantry fighting vehicles, says Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. "It provides means to breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk for own troops and replacing a lost RCV is purely a logistical nuance."

The video below shows the Type-X going through its paces.

Milirem Type-X

Source: Milirem Robotics

7 comments
7 comments
stevendkaplan
Every one of these autonomous weapon developments has me more and more convinced of a robot apocalypse occurring by the end of the decade.
Daishi
From the video and 26,455 lb weight it looks considerably larger than the quoted 26.6 inches in height. Outside of that I wonder who funds some of this stuff (taxpayers I guess). I was on M1 tanks in the service and they have started to move away from big heavy tracked vehicles. If there is nobody in it why does it need to be armored and 26,455 lbs? Tracks have a lot of moving parts and require a lot of maintenance and a lot of vehicles in use have moved to a V shaped body that better absorbs IEDs. It's also not really autonomous either. Other than maybe a basic follow mode it's remote controlled. I think for the cost of building one of these you could build a small army of side by side ATV's that lack armor but have most the rest of the sensors and weapons. I worry about the future if we allow autonomous warfare. Without the need for armor or people for the cost of a $9 million army tank you could send 1,000 autonomous ATVs with machine guns into combat that will go 70 mph and go over almost any terrain the tank can.
ArdisLille
How much does one of those babies cost? I didn't see a list price in the last paragraph. When I look at the picture and I see a gazillion books and school supplies that were not handed out; many, many scholarships that were not awarded and a citizenry that could have been better equipped to make wise decisions in times of unforeseen challenge and strife.
Kevin Ritchey
What a huge weight factor for something armored to protect nobody inside. I can understand some protection but I would rather exchange speed for elusiveness. The low profile is helpful but again is limiting unless some modules can be attached making it the base for versatility. Going in the right direction I guess but tracked vehicles require special maintenance. Keep working on the concept while being mindful of the costs.
Derek Howe
ArdisLille - Si vis pacem, para bellum
Gregg Eshelman
The BOLO MK1 from Keith Laumer's Co-Dominion stories?
ljaques
Milirem appears to be doing this right. I can't find pricing (for years now) but I love these things. Guess it's time to fab up my own lithium version. Vroom, vroom!