| I have been reading some information about the Goliath remote controlled demolition vehicle that was used by the Germans during World War II and was wondering would something like this be useful in a modern MOUT setting. From what information I have found on the system it had some problems being deployed in action. As I understand there were several models, that either ran on a battery or a gasoline engine. They were controlled by two methods, wire controlled or remote controlled one model was even drove close to the target and the driver got out and remotely controlled the vehicle to the target. The explosives carried ranged from 200lbs to 600lbs of HE. The smaller of the series of the vehicles was designed to blow up with the charge while the larger one dumped the charge off and retreated to a safe location. In combat they had problems as far as machine gun fire taking them out to someone simply cutting the remote line to it. Though I did read that they did a good job in urban operations in Warsaw. As far as I know they were not very good in rough terrain although they did use tracks.
That brings us to the year 2008. The U.S. military are using robots on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan to do things from recon from the air to IED demolition. It is now a common thing to see a RC on the battlefield. From what I have seen they are very useful in many roles and there roles are going to be more extensive in the future. The modern ground based systems seems that they could have problems as far as being taken out by a well aimed bullet and they look that they might have some mobility problems on rough terrain. But, I think there here to stay for the foreseeable future.
I now return to a modern demolition RC idea. In the following paragraphs I will play pretend and design a RC demolition vehicle and put it in a modern battle situation and anybody who wants to comment what you see as tactical problems anything you can think of please comment. Think of this as a kind of test evaluation.
I will start off by giving the it a designation I'll call it Remote Demolition Vehicle or RDV for short. First, lets start with the size of the vehicle. Width should be 2.5 feet so it would be able to fit through most doors. Length 4 feet to carry the payload better. Height 2.5 feet including sensor package. Weight about 450lbs depending on what type explosive charge is used. The system would come in four parts these being chassis,sensor package,explosive charge, and control unit. For it to survive a direct charge onto a target it would have to be armored to some extent. It would have to repel 7.62 fire and fragments from grenades and rpg's. So the explosive package should be armored and cover the chassis. The chassis could be less covered in armor but still have some for fragments. The tracks should be metal with rubber pads. As far as the sensor package one camera looking straight forward should get the job done night vision would be nice to have also and it would have ballistic glass covering it. The control receiver would be located in the package also. Since, the chassis would be designed to explode with the charge the sensor package would be designed to blast off the frame at a 45 degree angle into the air so that it could possible be used again this would be accomplished with a spring load and small charge. The system would run off of batteries and run by two electric drive motors. To save money most parts would be off the shelf items. Two types of explosive charges would be used, a 200lb plastic explosive charge and a 100lb thermobaric charge. While both charges would be useful against the face of a building the thermobaric would be more useful if the rdv could get inside a building. So, basically how the system would work is it would controlled up the face of a building a detonated in hopes that the force of the blast would bring the front of the building down. The next paragraphs will give a fictional situation that the system could be used in.
On any given day at any given time a Army Infantry Company has been ambushed by a group of insurgents while escorting several fuel trucks. The lead gun truck has been taken out with an IED two casualties have been taken. Two groups of insurgents begin to fire on the convoy. One group is to the east the other to the west. The group to the east is located in an open expanse of the city with a small amount of buildings but each building is well over 100 meters from each other and the insurgents have decided to use burms as cover. The other group is split between one building and a market place. Total number of insurgents around 7 to the east and 14 to the west. The group to the east are armed with 6 AK-47s and 1 RPK. The group to west have 12 AK-47s, 2 RPKs, and 2 RPG-7s.
Within the first ten seconds of the engagement the group to the east has been shut down with 4 casualties and the other 3 on the run towards buildings to southeast. This is thanks to a Hum