U.S. Marines from 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, conduct the first amphibious landing in an Assault Breacher Vehicle with a Modified Full Width Mine Plow prototype during Exercise Steel Knight on the West Coast.

Breaching a heavily-defended enemy position is a complex and risky operation, one that requires suppressing fire, battlefield obscurants, electronic warfare capabilities, and a physical breach unit built to break through.
These operations are exceptionally dangerous as the enemy will throw everything it can at those attempting to shatter their defenses.
The US Army and Marines recently experimented with a new 80-ton robotic assault breacher vehicle made to rip up minefields and clear obstacles without putting their lives at risk.
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Soldiers and Marines have risked life and limb in dangerous breach operations on the battlefield, but new technology will help keep them out of harms way.

“We never, ever want to send another soldier into a breach, so how do we do this completely autonomously?” Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command, asked at Yakima Training Center in Washington state recently, Defense News reported.

The answer to the general’s question: A monstrous robotic Assault Breacher Vehicle, an 80-ton battlefield bulldozer built to rip up minefields and remove obstacles.

The Army and Marines have been using manned M1150 ABVs for breach operations for nearly a decade.

An Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) is essentially an M1 Abrams tank that has been upgraded with armor improvements and had its turret replaced with either a mine plow or a combat dozer blade able to clear a path for other assets.

These mobile, heavily-armored minefield and obstacle clearing vehicles have traditionally been manned by a crew of two.

The plan is to get those troops out.

“That is a very dangerous point to put soldiers and Marines, especially when dealing with explosive obstacles,” 1st Lt. David Aghakhan, ABV Platoon Commander, said in a statement, adding that new robotic variants give “us the option to take the operator out of the vehicle, and still push that vehicle through …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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