The BAE Systems Black Knight is an early prototype of an Unmanned Combat Vehicle. Its turret is equipped with operative components from the Bradley Combat Systems program, illustrating the synergy between the current force and the future force. As the components for robotic vehicles are designed and built, they will be substituted for these Bradley components.
The Black Knight Unmanned Combat Vehicle can be controlled from the commander's station of a Bradley, which was demonstrated at the Association of the U.S. Army's 2006 Winter Symposium and Exhibition. Gun and turret position, as well as information from the Commander's Independent Viewer (CIV), and the Improved Bradley Acquisition System (IBAS) can be seen on a screen in the Bradley Commander's Crew Station. As soldiers dismount, they take a Dismounted Control Device (DCD) along and continue to operate the Black Knight, receiving information on the single screen on the DCD.
The BAE Systems Black Knight displays the existing robotic technologies available for use by today's forces. This unmanned vehicle provides an immediate system to demonstrate advanced robotic technologies, support user development of tactical behaviors, and provide engineers a hands-on prototype to assist in their design efforts on unmanned combat systems.
The Black Knight is equipped with advanced capability - leveraging some of the proven capabilities of the Bradley by utilizing robust, available components. These components provide the demonstrator with the high lethality obtained with the first-round hit, and the ability for the turret to slew to a cue from the Commander's Independent Viewer.
Enhancements completed in 2006 include advanced robotic technology for autonomous mobility. This capability allows the Black Knight to plan routes, maneuver on the planned route, and avoid obstacles - all without operator intervention.
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