The U.S. Army plans to kick off the competition to develop light robotic combat vehicles during the third quarter of 2023 and is considering new approaches to test and evaluate RCVs to facilitate the certification process, C4ISRNET reported Thursday.
“With the RCVs, we are looking at such new systems and new approaches,” Maj. Cory Wallace, robotic requirements lead with the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, told the publication in an interview. “A lot of the testing procedures that are currently employed are not the most efficient.”
He said the military branch could consider certifying the autonomous vehicles in a virtual environment and take lessons from companies when it comes to implementing testing and evaluation metrics for such vehicles.
The service’s programmers have “been very open to try new means of testing,” Wallace said. “We’re trying to draft [off] what we’ve done in the civilian world, as well, to see if we can gain efficiencies by implementing their testing standards.”
The Army intends to spend approximately $750 million on RCV development in the next five years, according to budget justification documents for fiscal year 2023.
Wallace noted that the service expects the first vehicle prototypes to be delivered by 2028.
In January 2020, the Army awarded QinetiQ North America and Textron other transaction agreements to build two RCV variants.