US Army Seeks New Remote Weapons System, Unmanned Turrets for Ground Vehicles

© BAE SystemsThe US Army's new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle
The US Army's new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle - Sputnik International
A recently issued information request by the US Army Contracting Command reveals that officials are in the market for a new remote weapons system that's equipped with a 30-millimeter autocannon and a 7.62-millimeter machine gun for the Army's ground vehicles.

The March 6 release notes that the XM813 Remote Weapon System and added weaponry will need to be fitted for a "medium-sized combat vehicle platform," and must include a thermal camera that can spot vehicles situated more than three miles away.

Military-focused website Task & Purpose reported that vehicles in line for the new system include the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), which is expected to replace the Vietnam-era M113 over a period of years.

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The posting goes on to ask defense industry insiders to provide information so that officials are better able to conduct market research and seek out interested parties who are able to meet its outlined demands.

"The current XM813 is a 30-millimeter medium caliber cannon that will demonstrate optimized effects against personnel in the open or behind cover, as well as behind walls with the use of a multi-purpose fuse that provides airburst effects, point detonate delay and point detonate in one warhead," Defense Blog said of the new weapons system.

"It can also provide optimized effects against like materiel targets with the kinetic energy penetrator. The XM813 is an electrically driven, chain operated, dual-feed weapon system, has first round select capability, and fires a suite of 30-millimeter linkless ammunition."

The request for information comes weeks after the Army awarded BAE Systems two contract modifications worth upwards of $575 million for an initial production of the AMPV in a move to meet the demands of the service's Armored Brigade Combat Teams.

The February 2019 deal will produce five variants of the AMPV: XM1286 Command and Control, XM1283 General Purpose, XM1284 Medical Evacuation, XM1285 Medical Treatment and XM1287 mortar carrier vehicle.

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"Moving into this phase of the AMPV program is exciting because it brings soldiers one step closer to deploying this critical capability for completing their missions and coming home safely," Bill Sheehy, AMPV program director for BAE Systems' combat vehicles business, said in a statement.

"We have been preparing for this moment and are ready to take this program to the next stage."

The Pentagon-BAE Systems partnership, which previously hashed out a contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the AMPV in December 2014, saw its first AMPV prototype in December 2016. The US Army formally rolled out its new infantry carrier in February 2017.

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