AI-Powered Type-X Combat Vehicle Is a Sign of Robotic Warfare to Come

July 3, 2021

At the fast rate technology is being developed, don’t be surprised if robots of various shapes and sizes will be fighting our wars during our lifetime. And scary as that may be for some, it’s a reality we’ll soon have to face.

The world’s armies, especially the American one, have several programs in place meant to develop robotic combat technologies for various applications. Into focus this week is the Army’s RCV-M program, which is short for Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium.

Earlier this year, the military branch started taking delivery of the first prototypes developed by the companies taking part in the program, but these defense contractors are not nearly done showing what they’ve been up to.

Estonian company Milrem Robotics, for instance, just pulled the wraps at the end of last week off its RCV-M contender, the Type-X, and provided us with the initial details of the machine.

Designed to be capable of supporting amphibious missions, the Type-X was created as a means to provide “equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with Infantry Fighting vehicles,” and allow troops to “breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk.”

The thing is a machine that uses rubber tracks to move around, powered by an undisclosed hybrid diesel-electric powertrain. It can be weaponized with cannons up to 50 mm, anti-tank missiles, and a tethered drone to make it aware of its surrounding.

An artificial intelligence system governs the machine’s autonomous functions, and gifts it with capabilities like follow-me, waypoint navigation, and obstacle detection.

The robot tank can be controlled remotely by an operator as well, and can reach speeds of up to 80 kph (50 kph) on the road. It comes with anti-artillery and mine protection.

Milrem plans to present the Type-X to the U.S. Army later this year. The platform on which is based has already been ordered by ten countries, including seven NATO members.

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