BAE Systems has demonstrated the capability of its Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) by firing an Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket.

The firing was the first for an APKWS rocket from a robotic combat vehicle (RCV). The event saw the inclusion of a human decision in the loop.

The RTD fired rockets at ground targets as part of the US Army’s tactical scenario at the EDGE 22 exercise, held at Dugway Proving Ground.

With a hybrid electric drive, the RTD has the capability to handle multiple missions.

The vehicle can accommodate several payloads including electronic warfare sensors, gun systems, anti-tank guided missiles, and 2.75-inch rockets, along with the APKWS laser-guidance kit.

It also can be loaded with loitering munitions to fight armoured, as well as uncrewed, aerial threats.

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BAE Systems Future Tech Works director Helen Park said: “Over the past year, we’ve partnered with leading technology companies to build an autonomous vehicle that will exceed the Army’s RCV medium requirements.

“This successful demonstration proves that our unmanned vehicle can be integrated and updated with cutting-edge technology, payloads, and weapon systems to support multiple mission sets and deliver advanced capability in a multi-domain operational environment.”

The highly precise, laser-guided, 70mm APKWS rocket system has a point-and-shoot design. It is designed to engage both stationary and moving targets and ensure the survivability of the crew.

The APKWS is a cost-effective solution for precision strikes with a superior range, and eliminates the need for air support.

BAE Systems is currently focusing on developing the most capable RCV to help the Army address evolving threats. Work on the programme is under progress at its facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan.