Partial Type-X chassis
In early April, the Estonian company Milrem Robotics first spoke about the development of a promising Type-X robotic complex, which is a multi-purpose unmanned combat armored vehicle. The assembly of the prototype soon began. He’s already ready. The prototype was shown to potential customers.
In early June, Estonian television broadcasted a report from the assembly shop of Milrem Robotics. The “protagonist” of the reportage was the chassis under construction for the Type-X RTK. By the time of the shooting, the main assembly work had been completed, but some of the units were missing. In addition, the complex did not have time to receive the combat module – it was next to it under a cover. However, as it turned out later, it did not take long to complete the build.
Just a few days later, on June 17, Milrem Robotics hosted an event with members of the armed forces of several unnamed countries. The military, who in the future will have to operate such equipment, were shown a prototype of the Type-X RTK with all the main components.
During the event, the main advantages of the new project, announced earlier, were again named. RTK Type-X should effectively solve the same tasks as “manned” vehicles, but it turns out to be easier to operate, cheaper and more profitable than conventional infantry fighting vehicles with similar characteristics.
Also on June 17, they presented a promising Intelligent Functions Kit control system designed for Type-X and other RTKs for various purposes. Such a system is designed to increase the autonomy of equipment. It allows the RTK to independently navigate and perform other tasks.
Previously, only computer images of the promising RTK and part of the information about its tactical and technical characteristics were freely available. Recent reports and press releases allow us to look at the new technique in greater detail – as well as draw conclusions.
Earlier it was indicated that the combat weight of the Type-X RTK is 12 tons. The payload in the form of a combat module or other equipment is up to 3 tons. The length of the vehicle is 6 m with a height of no more than 2.2-2.5 m, depending on ” payload “. All this imposes certain requirements on the power plant and chassis. Some information about them has already been announced, and now new details are known.
Even in the first announcement, the development company spoke about the use of a hybrid power plant with a diesel generator, batteries and traction motors. All engines are located in the rear of the hull, batteries are in the bow. A single bus is used to supply power to all systems, from engines to weapons electronics.
RTK Type-X with combat module CPWS Gen.2
In a report from the assembly shop, the chassis and chassis elements were shown in sufficient detail. On each side there are seven road wheels with individual suspension on balancers. All rollers are equipped with external shock absorbers. The drive wheels are located in the stern. A one-piece rubber track is used.
It is stated that on board the vehicle there is all the necessary equipment for movement by commands or in automatic mode, navigation, communication, etc. The electronics are assembled in blocks with the possibility of quick replacement – to repair or change the capabilities of the machine. Of all the devices, only the camera and rangefinder units located in the front of the fenders are visible from the outside. Their arrangement indicates the ability to track a wide sector of the front hemisphere, sufficient for driving.
According to the developers, RTK Type-X will be able to independently move along the highway and rough terrain with a maximum speed of 80 km / h. The power reserve is 600 km. Depending on current needs, it is possible to drive with a diesel engine or with batteries.
Some of the characteristics and features of the platform are still unknown. In particular, the parameters of bulletproof armor, cross-country characteristics, etc. were not specified. Until the completion of full-fledged tests, the issues of the effectiveness of the operation of electronic systems for remote and autonomous control will be relevant.
The Type-X platform can be equipped with any combat module weighing no more than 2-3 tons. One of the variants of this configuration has already been shown in the form of an advertising image. There is also another option – it was implemented on a prototype, recently completed and shown to potential customers.
Previously demonstrated version of the Type-X AFV
In this case, a CPWS Gen.2 combat module from John Cokerill (formerly CMI Defense) is mounted on a standard shoulder strap of the chassis roof. Initially, it was a low-profile manned turret with missile, cannon and machine-gun armament. For use on Milrem Type-X or similar platforms, the design has been modified – with the removal of standard controls and the installation of remote controls.
The experienced RTK received a 25-mm automatic cannon and a normal caliber machine gun. The design of the combat module allows the installation of similar systems of different types, up to 30-mm guns of different models. On the starboard side there is a launcher for two guided missiles – their type is also selected by the customer. Smoke grenade launchers are provided.
On the roof of the tower there is an optoelectronic unit with day and night observation equipment, as well as a laser rangefinder. It is proposed to be used as a panoramic sight, providing both observation and weapon guidance.
Plans for the future
Back in April, the management of Milrem Robotics claimed that the Type-X complex had already found its customer. The development of the project was paid almost entirely by an unnamed country. It is possible that on June 17, the finished prototype was shown to this particular customer, however, there is still no exact data on this score.
The concept of a mobile control center RTK based on a wheeled armored personnel carrier
The plans of the developer company for the near future provide for the completion of all construction work and preparation of the prototype for testing. Factory tests are expected to begin before the end of the third quarter of this year. Apparently, the first to be tested will be the RTK with the CPWS Gen.2 combat module. In the future, other versions of the complex with different weapons and equipment may appear, incl. non-military use.
The upcoming tests will show the real potential of the new robotic complex – and the customer who paid for the development will be able to draw conclusions. In addition, other countries will be able to evaluate RTC not only by advertising. It is quite possible that all this will affect the circle of potential customers.
The direction of relatively heavy RTK for combat purposes is of great interest to different customers, and there are already a number of similar projects from different countries. In this regard, the Type-X project turns out to be one of the advanced developments, which in the future may take part in the formation of a full-fledged market for combat RTKs.
At the moment, the development organization is optimistic about the future. The completion of the assembly of the first prototype and its demonstration to the customer becomes an additional reason for high ratings and positive forecasts. At the same time, the project is far from completion, and there are still serious risks that can affect its progress and commercial results.
The Milrem Type-X project as proposed looks very interesting from different points of view, but its future remains uncertain. Clarity will emerge only after confirming the characteristics and capabilities in practice. The tests will start in the coming months, and then it will be possible to draw conclusions.