Last week, SOFREP reported on the Navy’s latest venture into autonomous warfare, the 140 ton ACTUV, which holds the record for largest unmanned vessel in the world. Not one to be left behind, the U.S. Army also recently announced entering the next stage in development of their own unmanned vehicle, an armed Humvee called, “Wingman.”

While still far from entering service as a combatant, the “Wingman” Joint Capability Technology Demonstration, or JCTD, program has had a fair amount of success in developing and testing an autonomously piloted and specially configured Humvee armed with with a modified 7.62 weapon system. The platform’s early testing took place with an M240B machine gun, but feed issues forced the team to develop an electrically driven 7.62 weapon system to replace its gas operated predecessor.

“Obviously if you’re a kilometer away from your vehicle, jams are not good,” said Thomas B. Udvare, deputy chief of the program. “What’s nice about their electrically-driven system is that the incidents of jamming are greatly reduced.”

The Humvee navigates either manually, through teleoperation, or using a Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, developed autonomy system that relies on a network of driving cameras, sensors and other electronics to navigate the vehicle through predetermined GPS waypoints. The weapon system itself can also target enemy fighters autonomously as well, with settings for both using vision-based automatic target detection and user-specified target selection, depending on the mission requirements and preferences of the user.