The U.S. Army test-fired Javelin anti-tank missiles at a recent exhibition in Fort Hood, Texas to demonstrate technological advancement in its fighting capabilities.
During a series of weapons drills and exercises, soldiers fired Javelins and .50-caliber machine guns from seven-ton robotic vehicles.
The demonstration consisted of 12 robotic platforms alongside six control vehicles, the culmination of four years of activity, according to one official at the exhibition.
The three vehicle versions – the RCV-Light, the RCV-Medium, and RCV-Heavy – are each built for various complex unmanned operations.
The official said the RCV-Heavy is still in the early stages of development but was used in the experience with an M113 personnel carrier.
An operation, for example, might include scouting and reconnaissance missions, distributing supplies, and finding and destroying enemy targets – when directed by a human.
Kevin Mills, the deputy executive director of ground vehicle intelligent systems, told The National Interest that the second large-scale operational soldier evaluation "is a huge learning opportunity for the Army to understand how to combat robotics can inform future decisions on how we buy material and how we fight."
"One of the unique features of robotic platforms is that, once you take the human out, they’re purposely built to be robotic platforms, so they can be much smaller and still carry significant payloads and have significant middle mobility characteristics," he said.