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Australia: Unmanned M113AS4 to counter drones

The Australian company EOS and the Australian Army’s Robotics Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO) conducted tests of the unmanned version of the armored personnel carrier M113AS4 integrated with the remotely controlled R400 weapon module.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS) announced that together with the Australian Army’s Robotics Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO), they conducted tests of the unmanned version of the armored personnel carrier M113AS4, integrated with the remotely controlled R400 weapon module, unveiled for the first time in 2019.

Photo: EOS

EOS and RICO have achieved a significant milestone in their collaboration, demonstrating advanced capabilities for conducting precision fire over long distances from a modified Australian Defence Force (ADF) vehicle. At the firing range near Puckapunyal Military Area in central Victoria, the vehicle fired at unmanned targets, both stationary and moving, at distances of 300 and 600 meters. Importantly, the R400 weapon module was remotely controlled from the EOS facility in Canberra, approximately 550 km away.

After the demonstration, EOS conducted a qualification training session for five ADF soldiers at Puckapunyal, where they remotely operated the Remote Weapon Stations (RWS). The session concluded with a counter-drone combat demonstration, during which two of the trained soldiers managed to engage both stationary and moving unmanned targets from distances of up to 500 meters.

Ian Cook, Executive Vice President for EOS Defence Systems, stated, The success of this live-fire counter-drone exercise at Puckapunyal is a testament to the dedication and expertise of ADF and EOS personnel and their commitment to advancing military capabilities. It also highlights the importance of continuous innovation and training in modern warfare.

The achievements of this exercise represent a significant step forward in military technology, offering greater precision, safety, and operational versatility. As EOS and RICO continue to push the boundaries of unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and remotely controlled weapon module capabilities, their contribution will undoubtedly play a key role in shaping the future of ADF operations and military strategy.

Especially since the ADF is investing in unmanned capabilities. This includes tests of autonomous convoys composed of RMMV HX2 heavy trucks as part of the modified Land 121 40MT program, the Autonomous Combat Warrior (ACW) program, and the delivery of 20 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicle (OCCV) variants of the armored personnel carriers M113AS4 by BAE Systems Australia.

In the context of the M113AS4, it is worth noting that exploring a new role for these vehicles is possible due to the implementation of the Mounted Close Combat Capability program LAND 400 Phase 3, which involves the delivery of 129 South Korean infantry fighting vehicles AS21 Redback, which will soon replace these vehicles in their traditional role in the ADF.


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