The Armed Robotic Vehicle (), an integral part of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems’ (FCS) robotic forces is under development at in Santa Clara, Calif. is currently in the System Design and Development (SDD) phase, conducted by ’ Santa Clara, Calif. The company is planning to test the first prototypes in 2010, with fielding to FCS-equipped BCTs scheduled for 2012-2014.
The semi-autonomous ARV is the largest unmanned ground vehicle planned for the FCS program. It is expected to become an integral element within platoon and companies of FCS-equipped Brigade Combat Teams. A pair of ARVs will be transportable in a single C-130 airplane. Both platforms will be equipped with Autonomous Navigational System (ANS) and Aided Target Recognition (ATR) providing the robotic vehicle with the capability to operate semi-autonomously with minimal input from the operator.
Troops will deploy and control the ARVs at extended ranges. The ARV will be controlled from operator crew stations located inside manned ground vehicles or by FCS-Land Warrior-equipped dismounted soldiers, using ARV remote control devices. The core technologies enabling semi-autonomous operate will allow one soldier to remotely control all aspects of the vehicle. The ARVs will feature additional capabilities including chemical detection, anti-tampering, and battle command and communications equipment.
Two versions of ARV are planned, a reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition platform () and an assault platform ( ). The two variants will share a common chassis.
ARV Assault is designed to accompany FCS platoons equipped with Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV). The vehicle will weigh 9.3 tons, have a length of 237″ (602 cm), hull width of 99″ (251 cm) and height of 96.5″ (245 cm). The vehicle will mount anti-tank missiles, an automatic cannon and a high-rate-of-fire, suppressive machine gun. The assault variant will features an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor.
The ARV-R (RSTA) variant will be assigned to FCS platoons equipped with Mounted Combat Systems and Reconnaissance and Surveillance manned ground vehicles. The mission payload to be used by the ARV-R will be the Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) sensor suite, providing long-range standard and thermal imagery, as well as laser targeting capability. The ARV-R will feature a RSTA suite mounted on a telescoping mast; it will carry a cannon for self defense, will have the capability to disperse unattended ground sensors and conduct battle damage assessments. It will have a length of 76″, (447 cm), significantly shorted than the ARV-A