The U.S. Army recently announced its intention to pursue funding the development of a fleet of small, unmanned vehicles between FY 2022 and FY 2026, providing services including autonomous software, system safety, and cyber and spectrum resiliency. These Robotic Command Vehicles (RCVs) also include software solutions for vehicle autonomy, control stations, and payload control.
QinetiQ Inc. is working with Pratt Miller Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Defense, on RCV-Light (RCV-L) solutions that break new ground with direct infantry functionality. The RCV-L solutions work directly with warfighters on the ground to provide an intelligence and reconnaissance platform that can be used for forward scouting with the ability to carry lethal payloads. QinetiQ and Pratt Miller are currently updating existing RCV experimental prototypes and procuring new-build prototypes with the goal of building a second-generation platform that is mature and low risk off the shelf.
“Our ongoing work with Pratt Miller has allowed us to not only build on our long-standing partnership, but also on the lessons we’ve learned in the field,” said Shawn Purvis, President and CEO of QinetiQ US. “I’m proud of the work we’re doing to protect the warfighter.”The RCV-L system from QinetiQ US and Pratt Miller is a diesel-electric hybrid platform weighing just over 10 tons with the ability to travel 40 mph while carrying a maximum payload of 7,000 lbs. It is outfitted with remotely operated weapons stations for offensive and defensive maneuvers.
The first RCV-L was delivered to GVSC on November 5, 2020. The culmination of eight months of challenging work, this on-time delivery was a major milestone for the RCV program's industry/government collaboration.
The RCV-L is a purpose-built unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGCV) configured to meet the specific needs of the program. It builds upon the proven maturity provided by the Pratt Miller Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) and integrates QinetiQ's Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) robotic control systems to make it both highly flexible and payload agnostic.
The RCV-L Prototype Project was awarded to QinetiQ US with major subcontractor Pratt Miller in March 2020 through the National Advanced Mobility Consortium. The agreement includes the delivery and support of four RCV-L platforms with procurement options for up to 16 additional RCV-L systems.