The US Army wants to use robot dogs as carriers of new small arms


Image source: topwar.ru

Bhavanjot Singh, senior scientific and Technical manager of the American Army Command for the Development of Combat Capabilities (DEVCOM), for the first time mentioned the possible equipping of the four-legged unmanned ground vehicle Vision 60 (Q-UGV) produced by Ghost Robotics with an army rifle Next Generation Squad Weapon.

The US Army has already experimented with installing the M4A1 carbine on the Q-UGV. But the trials of the new Sig Sauer XM7 rifle will mark a new milestone in the use of unmanned robots designed to mimic some of the skills of man's best friend.

The unique ability of the dog is the ability to overcome various types of terrain that wheeled vehicles may not pass through

Singh commented.

The XM7 rifle and its sister weapon, the XM250 automatic rifle, using 6.8mm ammunition, were adopted as part of the NGSW program in 2022 to replace the M4 carbine and the M249 Squad automatic weapons, respectively. Although the XM7 is already popular among U.S. Special Operations forces, some soldiers have expressed concern that the XM7 is too large and heavy to function effectively as a standard infantry rifle.

Meanwhile, robot dogs, such as the Vision 60 Q-UGV, are becoming an increasingly common fixture in the US armed forces, performing functions such as strengthening perimeter security at various facilities, expanding intelligence, surveillance, target detection and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities for troops in remote areas. With their use, they have even performed some tasks for the neutralization of ammunition.

Although semi-autonomous and remotely controlled weapon platforms have already entered the arsenal of the US armed forces, the prospect of arming robot dogs and sending them to hostile territory together with American troops has caused controversy in the robotics industry.

Several robotics companies, including the leading firm Boston Dynamics, published a letter last October urging the US military to refrain from using these technologies as weapons.

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