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Your source for the latest on sustainability, technology and innovation.

Your source for the latest on sustainability, technology and innovation.

The Ripsaw: Autonomous Army Vehicle

The Ripsaw M5 is set to become the U.S. Army’s first fully autonomous ground vehicle. This tank is a heavily armed combat drone equipped with an autocannon and two additional drones. The tank is meant to be operated by armored wingmen, alongside other U.S army tanks and vehicles.

What makes this particular tank model revolutionary, you ask? Well, it is able to be operated by soldiers digitally from a distance, thereby allowing humans to remain out of the line of fire and lives to be spared.

Originally revealed at AUSA 2019, The Ripsaw M5 was originally developed by brothers Mike and Geoff Howe. The two brothers starred in the reality TV series “Howe & Howe Tech” and their original design was developed by Textron Systems in order to create the current model.

The autonomous army vehicle is equipped with a Kongsberg MCT-30 turret and can be fitted with a CROWS-J remote-controlled missile launcher. It can also be equipped with a medium-caliber cannon or anti-aircraft missiles.

Autonomous Army Vehicle
Photo Credit: Textron Systems

Not only designed as an offensive vehicle, but The Ripsaw M5 is also fairly quiet and can be used to conduct reconnaissance missions. It is equipped with a surveillance turret that includes both electro-optical and infrared night vision cameras.

It is home to a few drones as well, including the R80D Skyraider quadcopter drone is equipped into a back compartment of The Ripsaw M5. This drone is able to fly at a speed of up to 31 miles per hour, carry loads of up to 4.4 pounds, and can remain in the air for up to 50 minutes. This allows the tank operator to deploy the drone and to get a birds-eye view of any upcoming obstacles or rough terrain.

Tactical mobility is also something that is sported by The Ripsaw M5, it is able to be carried by a C-130J transport vehicle or by a CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.

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