The United Kingdom recently conducted its first-ever trial and evaluation of three heavy unmanned ground vehicles (H-UGVs), ramping up its armed force’s combat capacity in 21st-century warfare.

The test involved a rigorous assessment of the capabilities of each H-UGV and its respective effectiveness in different battlefield scenarios.

According to UK military officials, more than two weeks of testing was conducted at the British Army’s Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) in Bovington, Dorset, in England, evaluating the heavy (weighing over five tons) remotely-controlled vehicles developed by defense contractors from the Human-Machine Teaming Framework.

A first of its kind, the Defense Equipment and Support’s Future Capability Group (FCG) spearheaded the trial and performed a “stringent” examination on the selected H-UGVs, including Elbit System’s ROBUST, Milrem Robotics’ Type X, and Rheinmetall’s Wiesel.

These heavy robotic vehicles were evaluated on various criteria, including speed and agility, coping and traversing over rugged terrain, and communication systems.

Officials who partook in the trial were pleased with the overall demonstrations, with ATDU Commanding Officer Lt. Col. James de St John-Pryce expressing his satisfaction with the whole experience.

“It’s been a fascinating experience to test these platforms, see what they can do and what could potentially be achieved on the battlefield with crewless vehicles in the next 10, 20, or 30 years,” he said. “Make no mistake, we are at step one of a very long journey.”

But I am excited by what we witnessed during the trials … a great example of collaboration between the Army, FCG, and our industry partners,” de St John-Pryce added.