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Army Looking to Build RCV Sustainment Cohort

US Army

Army Looking to Build RCV Sustainment Cohort

The Army will partner with nontraditional defense contractors to sustain its fleet of future robotic combat vehicles

According to a statement released by the Army Applications Laboratory, efforts are underway to establish a cohort of innovators that will develop hardware and software components for sensor capabilities that will be used for RCV sustainment efforts. 

The initiative falls under the AAL’s cohort program, which brings together nontraditional businesses to address a specific Army problem, Defense News reported

Over the past year, the AAL created a cohort of innovators to work on ways to improve the munitions resupply system for field artillery units operating M109 Paladin howitzers. The field artillery autonomous resupply cohort consisted of six companies, namely Actuate, Apptronik, Carnegie Robotics, Pratt & Miller Engineering, Neya Systems and Hivemapper.

The AAL also announced a cohort to increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzers. The five small businesses selected for the effort were ARM Automation, CR Tactical, Dynovas, H.A. Eckhart and RE2 Robotics. 

A Defense Daily report notes that the Army will initially pick up to 10 small businesses for the proposed RCV sustainment cohort. The initial pool of contractors will work on their ideas over a 12-week period. The service will then select five businesses to proceed with the program and continue refining concepts over another two years.

RCVs are expected to play a critical role in the ecosystem of ground operations. 

The Army is currently gearing up for major company-level soldier assessment of its light and medium RCV prototypes in 2022. The service’s RCV-L prototypes were developed by QinetiQ and Pratt Miller while the RCV-M prototypes were made by a team composed of Textron, Howe & Howe and FLIR.

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