The US Army says it will carry out a large-scale limited user test (LUT) of its increment 1 early brigade combat team (IBCT) technologies at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, in 2011.

During the LUT, the army will evaluate its robots, sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and a battlefield network in Afghan-like mountainous terrain.

US Army Future Force Integration Directorate Texas director Major General Keith Walker said that a battalion and two more villages had been added to the exercise this year.

“In 2012 the first IBCT will deploy to Afghanistan and it will take the first capability package with it,” he said.

The tests for small unmanned ground vehicles (SUGV) or robots will be carried out in urban and non-urban environments including 80,000ft² buildings, caves and mountains.

The increment 1 technologies include the SUGV, tactical and urban unattended ground sensors, class 1 UAS, and networked vehicles designed to share voice, video and sensor data across the force in real time using high-bandwidth waveforms.

Additional vehicles, which will also participate in the LUT include Humvees and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles configured with network integration.