Unmanned land-based robotics

Soldiers from 13th Engineer Regiment trial new technology Ground Uncrewed System (GUS) during Exercise Talisman Sabre at RAAF Base Curtin, Western Australia. Photo: CPL Janet Pan.

The Australian Defence Force has further tested new ground uncrewed systems (GUS) as advancements in international unmanned technology show promising results. Soldiers from the 13th Engineer Regiment of the Australian Army evaluated these unmanned systems at RAAF Base Curtin near Derby, Western Australia.

In the realm of unmanned land-based robotics, the Australian Army had previously showcased fire and manoeuvre demonstrations featuring two autonomous Australian Army M113 AS4 armoured vehicles at Majura Training Area in late 2019, in front of senior leadership from the Department of Defence. It’s known that in-service R400 EOS remote weapon stations have been integrated onto M113 armoured personnel carriers to function as optionally crewed combat vehicles. The Army plans to conduct weapon system test firing in early 2024.

On the global stage, fully electric autonomous unmanned ground vehicles recently underwent trials, organized by the Estonian Military Academy and the Estonian Defence Forces in Estonia. These trials included obstacle avoidance, speed, and maneuverability challenges, with eleven companies participating over two days. The trials showcased the advancements in autonomous technology, impressing participants from over 20 countries.

Reflecting this progress, a participant in the trials stated, “These trials have shown just how far autonomous technology has come in recent years. We were proud to put our system to the test alongside some of the world’s most skilled developers. We are really pleased with our performance and look forward to seeing how our technology will evolve over the coming years.”

In the United States, recent contracts announced on July 31 focus on the design and prototyping of the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle, intended to replace the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The XM30 is the US Army’s inaugural ground combat vehicle crafted using modern digital engineering tools and techniques. Ed Zoiss, President of L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems, expressed enthusiasm about working with partners to produce advanced and secure vehicles, incorporating innovative technologies for superior protection, firepower, and mobility. The vehicle features L3Harris third-generation sights to enhance threat identification capabilities.


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