The idea to develop an unmanned stealth armored multipurpose wheeled vehicle was born based on an analysis of the many unresolved problems of combat use by different manufacturers in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and its potential use by Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard patrol units in different terrain (sand, swamp, hilly and rocky terrain, forest roads, water obstacles, snow).
Having studied practice of use of vehicles within the context of programs MRAP, FCS, MMPV, FTTS, FANG, ASV, DLA 1033, JLTV, MPC, ACV, we have come to the following conclusions about presence of a large number of unresolved serious problems:
(a) In pursuit of passenger protection against pressure mines and improvised explosive devices, the design, weight, and dimensions of the vehicles were no longer relevant to the terrain environment in which they were used. The heavy weight and pressure on the ground and the high center of gravity caused numerous injuries and deaths of troops when vehicles fell from plumb or eroded ground into ditches with water, overturned on inclines, destroyed weak bridges, and fell into rivers.
(b) Increased height and length of antennas increased the number of electrocutions from low-lying power lines. Increased height, on the other hand, made these vehicles more convenient targets.
(c) Greater mass resulted in larger diesel engines and their associated units, larger fuel tanks. Thus, with the increase in size, the usable volume and payload did not increase.
(d) Passive safety and passenger comfort have not changed either. No air conditioning, no system for cleaning the air from dangerous gases and aerosols, wrong body position while driving with the risk (lateral, front, rear, lower) of being hit by a explosion wave, the spine suffering heavy loads and injuries (weight of equipment, backpack, helmet), injuries when opening and closing heavy doors. Uncomfortable doors and seating made it impossible to quickly leave and load into the vehicle.
(e) Limited visibility for safe driving due to reduced glazing, dust, and poor quality unpaved roads made it impossible to make effective driving decisions in emergency situations.
(f) Heavy vehicles have high inertia, long acceleration periods, and high inertia when maneuvering.
(g) Amphibious models have extremely low speeds in water and are very light targets.
(h) Unlike even heavier tracked transports, these wheeled models have a very large turning radius and can’t turn on the spot.
(i) A large number of vulnerable weapons mechanisms on the surface of the body in case of rocket and mine fire create a risk of failure and jamming of the main armament.
(j) Pneumatic wheels.
(k) High price.
These are not all of the disadvantages of modern vehicles used by military units. However, at a time when the availability of portable missile systems and unmanned strike drones is increasing and, on the other hand, the continuing problem of the development of uncontrolled numerous terrorist groups in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the readiness of the armed forces for new combat missions raises many questions.
That’s why we integrated a lot of scientific and technological developments that already have numerous examples of use by themselves. Combined, we have come up with a solution that has the potential for a revolution in the tactical application of vehicles for transport, cover, escort and evacuation of troops:
(1) The dimensions and weight of the USAMWV are not significantly different from the gradually retiring, decommissioned HMMWV (M1114, M1115, M1151). Axle and ground pressures are also slightly different.
What has changed?
(2) A visible difference is the increased width (while maintaining air transportability), V-shaped body and floor geometry, increased payload and internal useful volume (8-12 people). There is no glazing, mirrors, lights and indication systems. Variable ground clearance for high cross-country ability. Airless tires, monolithic disk and tire system eliminates loss of drive due to punctures, gouges, and tire blowouts. Part of the weaponry is hidden under the armor in the truck’s cargo compartment.
(3) It is a fully unmanned electric vehicle with independent drive of each wheel, fast acceleration, high torque, almost silent, very low use expense ($0.41/mile) and almost no regular maintenance (60,000 miles interval). Remote or manual operation with joystick is allowed. The front and rear wheels are steerable, the vehicle can move diagonally, turn with a very small radius and turn on the spot. A group of unmanned vehicles operates in a coordinated mode and when threats arise, all vehicles synchronously avoid the calculated trajectory of a projectile or missile, move along a curved trajectory with different speeds to complicate enemy aiming.
(4) The convoy is escorted by several drones along the way, whose task is to detect threats earlier. The drones take off and land at 20-30 minute intervals from the cargo compartment of the vehicle to automatically replace the batteries. The vehicle in the vanguard moves without passengers with the sliding detectors for metal and non-metal mines activated. The other vehicles in the convoy follow its track.
(5) Passenger comfort and passive safety preserve the life, energy, health, and concentration of the fighters.
(6) Composite non-energetic reactive armor (NERA) provides both shaped charge and explosive penetrator (EFP) resistance as well as ballistic protection in accordance with STANAG 4569 Level 2.
(7) Radio-electronic low-visibility technology is realized by the geometry and the special coating of the body. The absence of engine exhaust, the lower position of the radiator and thermal insulation make it invisible in the infrared range. Camouflage and no lights, glass, or mirrors make it invisible to optical observers. Smoke disguises improve protection when ambushed and make it difficult to aim.
(8) Early threat detection includes Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS) monitoring of firing positions and likely threats, including monitoring of rocket launches and salvos, flashes and smoke sources, trajectory and coordinate analysis for evasive maneuvers, commands for firing heat traps and other countermeasures, Computer Vision analysis of surrounding objects, friend-or-foe identification, and evaluation of object dynamics and behavior for threats.
(9) The weapon system is based on two rotary robotic turrets and a hoist reloadable (robot-assisted) missile launcher concealed in the cargo compartment. The lower turret is capable of carrying a turret liquid-cooled weaponry including an Mk 44 30mm robotic artillery or M134 Minigun / M2 machine gun, a 40mm Mk 19 grenade launcher, and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) mounted at the sides of the main turret. The upper turret is designed for a liquid-cooled 7.62 robotic sniper rifle, which can be fired at preemptive range on the move. Robotic weapon systems require human confirmation of target hit. The rechargeable rocket launcher in the cargo compartment is characterized by a variety of rocket systems used and a considerably larger number of charges (up to several dozens) as compared to ATGM system located on the lower turret, which is limited, as a rule, to 4 charges. This weapon system, even on the basis of a single vehicle, can carry a very large stock of charges and weapons capabilities to provide cover for combat troops.
(10) Unique multi-function side and cargo door opening system, wide maximum door and cargo opening, convenience, flexibility and speed for embarking and disembarking, for rocket and drone launches.
(11) High speed (26 knots, faster than most yachts) and maneuverability in the water to evade the firing trajectory and calculated trajectory of a direct-guided missile.
No compromise. This combat vehicle will be ready to take on future security challenges and threats. Its low price and operating cost, as well as ample upgrade options, make it a long-life expectancy. For more information, see about USAMWV and in our next blogs.
In addition to combat, this vehicle has utilitarian applications as a firefighting unmanned vanguard, firefighting unmanned engineering vehicle, rescue vehicle during flooding, hurricane wind, and forest fires.