Textron Systems has just unveiled a new 10-ton, unmanned tank that will enter the US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle effort. Textron’s subsidiaries Howe & Howe Technologies and FLiR Systems Inc. is showcasing the Ripsaw M5 on the exhibit floor at the 2019 Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. currently.
Unlike the other Ripsaw tanks, this one features a hardened wireless connection, field modularity that allows you to equip it as necessary (mounted cannon, Javelin missile system, anti-mine equipment, etc.), and even the ability to deploy airborne drones for surveillance missions, all the while traveling at up to 40mph over any terrain.
It’s very easy engineering-wise to move the Ripsaw into the heavier scale and completely fulfill the requirements for the medium and then downscale to the light,” he said, calling Ripsaw the first truly scalable vehicle of its kind. Nobody has ever done that for the U.S. Army before, making it truly scalable, so you can say this mission set requirement is going to be we are going to need a payload of 6,000 pounds, it’s going to need this suspension package, it’s going to deliver this payload at this time. Or it’s going to need a 1,000-pound [remote weapons station] system, it’s going to use the same chassis, same suspension components with slight variations and you can scale it down,” said Mike Howe, senior vice president of Howe and Howe.