The US Army has selected QinetiQ North America and Textron to build four light and four medium robotic combat vehicles (RCVs) respectively.

The Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team intend to award the companies a task assignment under the Ground Vehicle System (GVS) other transaction agreement for the RCV programme.

Through a contracting mechanism, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium is coordinating the army’s awards to industry.

The service expects to be officially under contract with both companies by the middle of next month, pending successful negotiations.

US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center Director Jeffrey Langhout said: “The progress that our engineers, scientists, project managers and leaders around Team Warren and the army modernisation enterprise have made in moving the RCV closer to reality is truly a heartening success story for army modernisation.

“That we can get this far already is a testament to the dedication and passion of the army to giving our soldiers the best capabilities possible.”

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The light and medium RCVs to be built will be used as part of the army’s Robotic Campaign of Learning that looks to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations.

A company-level experiment will also be conducted at the end of this year using these vehicles.

Based on the results of that experiment, the army will decide on how to proceed with RCVs in 2023.

Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team director Ross Coffman said: “Robots have the potential to revolutionise the way we conduct ground combat operations.”