A clear global defence technology trend is for the ever increasing use of uncrewed and robotic systems in all domains. Australia is not immune and all three services have significant activities underway, including for ground combat. A Defence spokesperson told APDR that: “The Australian Army is constantly looking for innovative emerging technology to provide novel solutions for its soldiers.”
“Uncrewed Ground Vehicles (UGV) have undergone trials with the Australian Army since 2018. Currently the deployed roles of UGV are limited to C-IED (bomb disposal robots) and surveillance roles. These types of robotic systems create stand-off between a hazard and a soldier and have proven successful.
“Army is exploring UGV for many other roles. These include load carriage UGV for infantry soldiers, legged robotic systems for reconnaissance roles, small packable robotic systems for cavalry, infantry and engineer roles, optionally crewed combat vehicles and fully autonomous cargo trucks in a leader-follower configuration.”
APDR has noted that the Army’s research technologies in is seeking to apply leveraging human-machine five areas: maximising soldier performance; improved decision making; teaming; troop protection; and efficiencies in logistics and maintenance.
The M113-AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) is an all-terrain vehicle designed to protect and transport its crew and up to ten Infantry personnel. This M113 variant came after several upgrades from the Vietnam-era M113-AS1. It incorporates armour resistant to small arms fire, ballistic plating for mine blast protection and spall curtains to maximise passenger survivability. Logistically, the vehicle is capable of rapid deployment by road, rail, sea or air. It is designed for highway, off-road and cross-country travel.