09 October 2020

U.S. Army Considers Robotic Light Tank

The U.S. Army is considering purchasing an unmanned ten ton light tank called the Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle (RCV). It is currently at a prototype stage. I haven't located any cost estimates yet. It is part of a larger overall Army procurement plan.

It would come in a diesel and hybrid electric powered versions (wiht a range of 300-400 miles in the hybrid electric format with the diesel engines merely serving as generators to power the batteries) described below, and an electric vehicle version (which would not have a cannon turret). Specifically, it would have the following design features and specifications:

Ripsaw M5 is a robotic combat vehicle (RCV) developed by team Ripsaw, which consists of Textron Systems, Howe & Howe, and FLIR Systems.

Design and features of the light-weight tank

Based on the design and technicalities of the EV3-F4, the unmanned ground vehicle is modified for combat applications. The Ripsaw EV3-F4 is one of the world’s fastest dual-tracked vehicles serving the luxury-segment customers.

The exoskeleton of the M5 tank is a rigidly welded tubular structure based on a patented high-performance suspension. The Ripsaw M5 has a maximum gross weight of 3,855.54kg and can carry payloads weighing up to 2,721.5kg.
Mission agility of Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle

The FLIR 360° perception technology gives the unmanned vehicle the flexibility during critical missions. The algorithms of the system sensors can work in common environments, as well as in challenging conditions with fog, sun glares, and low visibility.

The tank can operate silently without producing any noise. It also has a mine-clearing line (MICLIC) and mine plover. The improvised explosive device (IED) defeat roller attached to the tank is equipped with an agile counter mechanism to neutralise identified threats. The M5 RCV can also carry a FLIR SkyRaider unmanned aircraft system. 

The tank can be installed with medium-calibre weapons and missiles. The Protector medium-calibre turret-30 (MCT-30) on the UGV is armed with a 30mm/40mm Bushmaster cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial gun. The automatic cannon is fed by a link-less ammunition handling system.

M5 RCV can also be equipped with other weapon stations such as Common Remote Weapon Station-Javelin (CROWS-J). The turret is mounted with a Javelin anti-tank guided missile, either an M2 .50 machine gun, M240 7.62mm machine gun, or an MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL).

The CROWS system also supports the RCV’s 360° rotation, while the gun elevation limits are between -20° and 60°. It integrates a daytime video camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder.

The FLIR gimbal further enhances the agility and surveillance of the M5 and helps in capturing multi-axis movement using high-definition zoom lenses. 
Ripsaw M5 engine and mobility

Ripsaw M5 is powered by either a 1,500hp gasoline engine or a 1,000hp diesel engine. The engine is coupled to a hypo automatic transmission system supplied by Allison.

The tank is designed to operate across all kinds of terrains including desert, snowy, hilly, or uneven surfaces. The suspension is supported by a rubberised D-shaped tank track, two sprocket wheels, three return rollers, and five road wheels.

The two sprocket wheels support the movement of the track tread. The tank’s weight is evenly distributed to support the carriage of multiple payloads.

No comments: