At 9,000 pounds, the Ripsaw is closer in size to the Humvee than a tank. For example, the Army’s M1A2 Abrams main battle tank tips the scales at more than 70 tons. Indeed, the Ripsaw isn’t even in the same weight class as an M1126 Stryker Combat Vehicle or M2/M3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Also, it doesn’t carry the same firepower. The Ripsaw is designed to accommodate the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, which can mount any number of weapons — including the M2 .50-caliber machine gun, Mk19 40mm automatic grenade machine gun, M240B 7.62 mm machine gun and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. By comparison, the M1A2 tank’s main armament is the 120mm L/44 M256A1 smoothbore tank gun.
It doesn’t have any armor to speak of, just an aluminum frame.
The army has evaluated eight of the vehicles at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey to assess in part how remote weapons technology could be used in future combat operations.
The Army continues to research how it might incorporate armed unmanned ground vehicles into its combat formations. Last year, for example, a soldier operated an unmanned Ripsaw from a seat in an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier a kilometer away.
A humvee has a max speed of 70 mph.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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