Defense and Intelligence

Army to Equip Autonomous Vehicles With New Weapons for Added Lethality

Autonomous technology

Army to Equip Autonomous Vehicles With New Weapons for Added Lethality

The Army plans to integrate a suite of new weapon systems and payloads into its fleet of autonomous vehicles to enhance lethality. 

A family of various robotic combat vehicles is being equipped with systems designed to destroy targets, eliminate drones and jam enemy communications, National Defense Magazine reported.

The vehicles would come in a light variant for reconnaissance, a medium variant for common operations and a heavy variant for missions that require high lethality.

To inform its development effort, the Army is conducting a “campaign of learning” to gain additional insights early in the development of autonomous vehicles, an official said. 

Ross Coffman, director of Army Futures Command's next-generation combat vehicle cross-functional team, said knowledge gained in advance of future projects will ensure the Army has the right designs for technologies.

In January, the Army launched a research effort aimed at developing artificial intelligence that would allow autonomous vehicles to steer through battlefields and complex terrain. 

The Army said the initiative is key for achieving multi-domain operations, which is the concept of coordinating multiple vehicles from different domains.

The research effort revolves around a concept called reinforcement learning, which is a branch of machine learning focused on enabling AI to adapt to new environments by inferring knowledge from existing datasets. 

Cory Wallace, the cross-functional team's robotic combat vehicle action officer, said the project is currently focused on enabling “decisive lethality.”

Decisive lethality refers to a broad range of external capabilities that a commander can rely on. Such capabilities include joint strikes and combined arms fires, Wallace said. 

Potomac Officers Club Logo

Receive the Daily News Briefing And Events Updates Straight to Your Inbox

Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: AI ARC Army Army Futures Command artificial intelligence autonomous Cory Wallace Defense and Intelligence National Defense Magazine reinforcement learning Ross Coffman