A fleet of autonomous M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) developed by BAE Systems Australia are undergoing testing with the Australian Army, reports Defence Connect.
The company has delivered 20 M113 AS4 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) to the Australian Army fitted with a vehicle management system leveraging domain-agnostic autonomy technologies. The demonstrator vehicles will be used to provide Army with insights into the capabilities of integrated autonomous technologies in the future battlespace.
BAE Systems Australia is investing in Australia’s next-generation capabilities via the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS DCRC) in Brisbane.
Four OCCVs were recently trialled by Army in challenging conditions within the combat environment as part of Exercise Koolendong, a high-end live-fire warfighting exercise in the Northern Territory.
“It’s exciting because we have a unique opportunity to partner and work with Army to develop this technology together. This way we can ensure the best capability and value for money,” BAE Systems Australia director of Red Ochre Labs Adam Watson said.
The project commenced in 2019, with BAE Systems installing new hardware and software into two M113 AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers. The project was expanded in 2020, with a further 16 M113 AS4 vehicles converted to OCCVs.
The next phase of the project is set to involve tests and trials of the fleet of OCCVs through a range of varying battlespace activities, with BAE Systems Australia expected to collect feedback to enhance the autonomous capability.