Over the years, defense industry watchers have been in awe over Howe and Howe Tech’s Ripsaw creations, from the EV2 (Extreme Vehicle), the EV3-F1 single-seater, EV3-F2 two-seater, to the EV3-F4 four-seater. This superfast tank system has done nothing but turn heads, including that of Textron Systems CEO, Lisa Atherton, who watched an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage featuring the Ripsaw.
Textron Systems eventually purchased the Maine-based Howe & Howe Technologies to fill the company’s gap in the unmanned land vehicle area of the defense market. The deal finalized in December of 2018, and Textron is already rolling out a 10-ton unmanned robotic combat vehicle known as the Ripsaw M5.
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The M5 has an electric hybrid drive, can run in silent mode, and is completely modular. The company plans to enter it in the U.S. Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) effort. See Textron’s press release below:
Textron Systems, a business of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), its Howe & Howe subsidiary and FLIR Systems, Inc. today debuted the Ripsaw® M5 during the 2019 AUSA Annual Meeting. As the Team Ripsaw offering for the U.S. Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program, Ripsaw M5 delivers aggressive mobility and modularity for multiple missions. This combination, along with teammates having decades of proven robotics and unmanned systems experience, results in a low-risk, ready-now solution.
Based on Howe & Howe’s deep knowledge of purpose-built ground vehicles, Team Ripsaw has designed the M5 for high speed and superior mobility in the most rugged terrains and weather. This fifth-generation robotic combat vehicle platform combines scalable armor, suspension and drive options to meet a variety of mission demands. The team has invested up-front in key technologies to demonstrate that the Ripsaw M5 is mission ready to provide the U.S. Army confident execution with uncompromising technology, including real-time situational awareness systems, remote weapons stations and terrain engagement systems.
“My brother Geoff and I founded Howe & Howe with the single, clear objective of safeguarding our nation’s warfighters,” notes Senior Vice President Mike Howe. “This drive led us to develop the fastest tracked vehicle in the world, and we’ve applied that same spirit and purity of innovation to the Ripsaw M5.”
The support of FLIR Systems bridges the gap for the Ripsaw M5 system to quickly achieve the Army’s objective of unmanned operations, alongside Textron Systems’ longstanding autonomy and armored vehicle design, production, training and logistics experience.
“Incorporating our world-class intelligent sensors and unmanned assets on the Ripsaw M5 will provide a leap-ahead technology solution for the Army,” said David Ray, President of FLIR Systems’ Government and Defense business unit. “From cameras delivering 360-degree situational awareness to surveillance gimbals, tethered drones and ground robots, we’ll give our troops a tactical edge by keeping them on technology’s edge.”
“Bringing together Howe & Howe, Textron Systems and FLIR Systems really represents a dream team,” says President & CEO Lisa Atherton of Textron Systems. “We formed this team based on our shared focus to serve this customer with disruptive ideas and proven experience, and we are dedicated to meeting and exceeding their requirements through the RCV program. We are confident that the Ripsaw M5 is their ideal wingman, and that we can get these vehicles out into the field where they need them – quickly.”