TALLINN – Estonian company Milrem Robotics and Belgian manufacturer of weapons systems John Cockerill Defense on Thursday showcased a new robotic combat vehicle named Type-X with a Cockerill protected weapons station to select military forces from around the world.
In a press release, the companies described the Type-X vehicle chassis as a revolutionary design for a mobile modular multi-mission vehicle that provides a platform for a family of unmanned armored vehicles. It is the first combat vehicle that is purposefully designed to be unmanned intended to be an integral part of mechanized units, they said.
The Type-X, featuring a Cockerill Protected Weapons Station Gen. II (CPWS II), is designed to deploy at a weight below the 12-ton mark for rapid deployment into the combat theater, either by parachute or by heavy lift helicopter. The tracked vehicle with armor protection can supplement troop formations or operate independently, in unmanned formations.
"One of the first realistic roles for unmanned fighting vehicles will be convoy defense and perimeter or base defense. The Type-X with the CPWS can be placed in the front and rear of a convoy to provide additional eyes and firepower for the convoy. Rarely does a convoy have available 25 mm firepower and given the system is unmanned, tactics like rushing an ambush site, or maneuvering on the enemy’s position are now legitimate options for a convoy under fire," Simon Haye, the chief marketing officer for John Cockerill Defense, said.
Haye said that the lead/follow functions of unmanned vehicles is well developed technology and spreading some operator stations through the convoy can provide redundancy and quick response.
The CPWS II is a low profile, lightweight turret that can mount the 25 mm M242 Bushmaster cannon or the 30 mm 230LF cannon. The remotely operated turret is equipped with a 360-degree panoramic sight, with CCD, thermal and fused imaging. The turret can come with anti-tank missiles such as Alcotan, MMP, Javelin or SPIKE.
The Type-X is a hybrid powered fighting vehicle that according to Milrem will replace in the future the current fighting vehicles meant for the transportation of troops. It weighs nearly three times less than existing vehicles and will be from two to three times cheaper. Its top speed is 80 kmh on roads and 50 kmh on terrain.