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Ripsaw M5 Robot TANK with armour-piercing ammunition and on-board drones is built for the US Army 

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A new robotic tank that can be equipped with armour-piercing ammunition and on-board surveillance drones has been built for the US Army.

Intended to serve as a ‘wingman’ for manned tanks and other armoured vehicles, the so-called ‘Ripsaw M5’ is adaptable for support, combat and surveillance.

The M5 is the latest remote controlled successor of the US Army’s manned Ripsaw MS2 tank, which had a 600 horsepower engine and max speed of 60 miles per hour. 

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A new robotic tank that can be equipped with armour-piercing ammunition and on-board surveillance drones has been built for the US Army

A new robotic tank that can be equipped with armour-piercing ammunition and on-board surveillance drones has been built for the US Army

The M5 can carry a so-called 'Skyraider' quadcopter, centre right— which has a maximum air speed of 31 miles per hour (50 kph), can carry payloads of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and remain airborne for as long as 50 minutes — and has an optical and infrared camera turret, centre left

The M5 can carry a so-called ‘Skyraider’ quadcopter, centre right— which has a maximum air speed of 31 miles per hour (50 kph), can carry payloads of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and remain airborne for as long as 50 minutes — and has an optical and infrared camera turret, centre left

WHAT ARE THE RIPSAW M5’S SPECS?

The Ripsaw M5 is a heavily-armoured ‘Robotic Combat Vehicle’.

It is intended to serve as a ‘wingman’ for manned tanks and other vehicles.

The M5 can be equipped with different cannons including anti-tank missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns.

It carries both an airborne drone and a robot with a manipulator arm.

A surveillance turret allows the M5 to undertake reconnaissance in both night and day.

Manufacturer Textron Systems unveiled the Ripsaw M5 on October 14 during the 2019 Association of the United States Army exposition in Washington DC.

The M5 is the latest in the Ripsaw series of remote controlled tanks, the first of which was developed from a manned army vehicle by engineer brothers Mike and Geoff Howe, stars of the 2010 reality TV show ‘Howe & Howe Tech.’ 

The M5 ‘Robotic Combat Vehicle’ has been further developed as a heavily-armoured combat drone that can carry both weapons and surveillance drones into the field.

The M5 natively sports a gun turret armed with a 30-millimetre Mk. 44 Bushmaster II autocannon, which is designed to operate against both enemy infantry, trucks and armoured opposition vehicles.

‘We are confident that the Ripsaw M5 is [the US Army’s] ideal wingman, and that we can get these vehicles out into the field where they need them — quickly,’ said Textron Systems CEO Lisa Atherton. 

The Bushmaster cannon is not suited to engaging with other tanks, however, but the Ripshaw M5 can be fitted with alternative weapons for different challenges.

For example, the turret can be switched with a remote-controlled Javelin anti-tank missile launcher — or even anti-aircraft missiles.

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The robot can also be used to clear mines, destroy improvised explosive devices and breach obstacles and can be equipped with a plough, ground penetrating radar or a launcher for rocket-propelled lane clearing charges.

‘My brother Geoff and I founded Howe & Howe with the single, clear objective of safeguarding our nation’s war-fighters,’ said Mike.

‘This drive led us to develop the fastest tracked vehicle in the world, and we’ve applied that same spirit and purity of innovation to the Ripsaw M5.’ 

Intended to serve as a 'wingman' for manned tanks and other armoured vehicles, the so-called 'Ripsaw M5' is adaptable for support, combat and surveillance

Intended to serve as a ‘wingman’ for manned tanks and other armoured vehicles, the so-called ‘Ripsaw M5’ is adaptable for support, combat and surveillance

The Ripshaw M5 can be fitted with alternative weapons for different challenges. For example, the turret can be switched with a remote-controlled Javelin anti-tank missile launcher — or even anti-aircraft missiles. Other addons include mine ploughs and ground-penetrating radar

The Ripshaw M5 can be fitted with alternative weapons for different challenges. For example, the turret can be switched with a remote-controlled Javelin anti-tank missile launcher — or even anti-aircraft missiles. Other addons include mine ploughs and ground-penetrating radar

Manufacturer Textron Systems unveiled the Ripsaw M5 on October 14 during the 2019 Association of the United States Army exposition in Washington DC

Manufacturer Textron Systems unveiled the Ripsaw M5 on October 14 during the 2019 Association of the United States Army exposition in Washington DC

For reconnaissance missions, the M5 is capable of stealthy, quiet manoeuvres and also comes equipped with a mounted surveillance turret with 360° optical and night-vision lenses.

Complementing this, the robot also serves as a carrier for two different types of drone vehicle.

These include a so-called ‘Skyraider’ quadcopter — which has a maximum air speed of 31 miles per hour (50 kph), can carry payloads of 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and remain airborne for as long as 50 minutes. 

Alongside this, the M5 can transport a smaller robot with a manipulator arm that can both climb stairs — enabling it to investigate buildings — and peer around corners using its retractable surveillance turret. 

‘Incorporating our world-class intelligent sensors and unmanned assets on the Ripsaw M5 will provide a leap-ahead technology solution for the Army,’ said David Ray, of Texton partner FLIR Systems’ Government and Defense business unit. 

‘From cameras delivering 360-degree situational awareness to surveillance gimbals, tethered drones and ground robots, we’ll give our troops a tactical edge by keeping them on technology’s edge.’

The M5 'Robotic Combat Vehicle' has been developed as a heavily-armoured combat drone that can carry both weapons and surveillance drones into the field

The M5 ‘Robotic Combat Vehicle’ has been developed as a heavily-armoured combat drone that can carry both weapons and surveillance drones into the field

The M5 is the latest in the Ripsaw series of autonomous tanks, the first of which was developed from a manned army vehicle by engineer brothers Mike and Geoff Howe, stars of the 2010 reality TV show 'Howe & Howe Tech.

The M5 is the latest in the Ripsaw series of remote controlled tanks, the first of which was developed from a manned army vehicle by engineer brothers Mike and Geoff Howe, stars of the 2010 reality TV show ‘Howe & Howe Tech’

 

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