How do we –the industry and the army– collectively develop more robust autonomous UGVs operating in contested environments?
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Rheinmetall Canada is proud to champion Defence iQ’s Virtual Discussion Group to explore the combined role of the Defence Industry and Land Forces in order to achieve the best possible robotics solutions to operate in contested environments.
Western countries and Allies are all looking at gaining the battlefield edge in a time of high technological advances. It is now widely accepted that this overmatch will only be achieved by the use of future, yet to be developed CONOPS and TTPs that will make good use of MUM-T and autonomous ground platforms.
Given those exciting technological development times and opportunities that challenge the longstanding status quo, we ask: how can we ensure seamless development and availability of robust robotics platforms that will support today’s operations in the modern contested environment battle space?
Defence analysts all report on the advancement of autonomous technologies by the industry. At the same time, military forces across the Alliance are working on several R&D, prototype, and low-rate production programs. Most are addressing both the technological aspects and the integration to their own CONOPS! Focus may differ at this stage: for some, logistic resupply may come first, as others are looking at increased battlefield lethality. One fact that remains uncertain is the effect of adding many systems that will need to collaborate in the already-crowded spectrum of communications.
Whether the next near-peer or asymmetric battles will be fought in urban environments or in the countryside, all industry and army experts will agree that unmatched synchronization of all assets and reliability will be key to success. This is why the industry and land forces are increasing discussions on what the future battlespace might look like and on how to keep the overmatch. The key will be close collaboration and circulation of lessons learned from all these tests and trials among the Alliance.
Our expert panel of speakers from Europe and North America will discuss how reliability and resilience in the battlespace will be achieved with robotics platforms, how affordability of these high-end systems will be obtained, and how these new robotics systems will be adapted to the current and future CONOPs and not the other way around! And when it comes to full autonomy, how much is too much?
The discussion will concentrate on:
- Reliability and resilience in the battle space: How do you remain confident when multiple unmanned platforms (UGVs, UAVs) work together with minimal or limited human oversight? What is required in a modern contested environment?
- Affordability: How can autonomy/capability remain affordable considering that multiple sensors are needed to get robust autonomy?
- CONOPS: How do armies perceive the autonomous unmanned ground vehicle as an enabler to the complex battle space challenges in an asymmetric warfare environment?
- Autonomy: How much autonomy is too much?
With expert contributions from our panelists:
- Lt Gen (Ret.) Ben Hodges, Perishing Chair, CEPA & Former Commanding General, US Army Europe
- Brig Gen (Ret.) Alain Tremblay, Vice President, Rheinmetall Defence Canada
- Lt Col Martijn Hädicke, MSc, Concept Development & Experimentation / 13 Light Brigade, Commander Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Unit, Royal Netherlands Army
- Lt Col Robert Page, Commanding Office – ATDU, British Army
- Ted Maciuba, Deputy Director, Robotics Requirements, US Army Futures Command