Tag Archives: UAV

Mission Master

One of the most innovative systems on display at this year’s MSPO exhibition is the latest version of the Mission Master Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) from Rheinmetall, armed with the WARMATE Loitering Munition System. Rheinmetall has partnered with WB GROUP, Poland’s foremost defence contractor in the field of advanced technologies, to provide dismounted troops with high-precision strike capabilities.

Rheinmetall presents the world’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) equipped with micro combat Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)

As with other versions of Rheinmetall’s flagship autonomous vehicle, this new Mission Master – Protection is based on an 8×8 all-terrain platform capable of performing dangerous missions in hostile weather conditions, with the specific purpose of enhancing combat effectiveness. The integrated WARMATE micro combat Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) opens up a range of new offensive and observation capabilities. It is capable of scanning the battlefield, detecting and determining exact enemy positions and, when the decision is made, engaging them. When an attack is aborted, the WARMATE can be recalled, can continue loitering, or be directed at another target.

Even more exciting, the new Mission Master – Protection features the first ever tube-launched system equipped with several WARMATE UAVs for performing surgical swarm attacks. This dramatically increases the unit’s combat power, while simultaneously augmenting the safety of dismounted troops in close combat operations as the whole system can operate out of the line-of-sight. «The use of micro combat UAVs on our Mission Master UGVs is an incredible opportunity for ground commanders», says Alain Tremblay, Rheinmetall Canada’s vice-president for business development. «Being able to observe hidden targets and conduct precise identification before initiating a surgical strike with minimal collateral damage is a real tactical advantage on today’s battlefield. And since both the Mission Master and the WARMATE are able to conduct certain autonomous operations, it reduces the number of military personal required and lets troops focus on mission success», explains Tremblay.

Operators can command both the UGV and UAV from a mobile ground control station; a modern soldier system such as Rheinmetall Argus; or with Rheinmetall Command and Control Software installed in any user’s battle management system.

Visitors to MSPO 2019 won’t want to miss this opportunity to see for themselves the brand-new version of the Rheinmetall Mission Master – the future of unmanned ground vehicles, on display today.

Fly into the Future

A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced April 14 recent technology demonstrations of swarming Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program. LOCUST can launch swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary. The deployment of UAV swarms will provide Sailors and Marines a decisive tactical advantage.

The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs (BAE Systems/Sensintel) capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions
The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs (BAE Systems/Sensintel) capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions

«The recent demonstrations are an important step on the way to the 2016 ship-based demonstration of 30 rapidly launched autonomous, swarming UAVs», said ONR program manager Lee Mastroianni.

The LOCUST program includes a tube-based launcher that can send UAVs into the air in rapid succession. The breakthrough technology then utilizes information-sharing between the UAVs, enabling autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or offensive missions. Since the launcher and the UAVs themselves have a small footprint, the technology enables swarms of compact UAVs to take off from ships, tactical vehicles, aircraft or other unmanned platforms.

The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions. Another technology demonstration of nine UAVs accomplished completely autonomous UAV synchronization and formation flight.

UAVs reduce hazards and free personnel to perform more complex tasks, as well as requiring fewer people to do multiple missions
UAVs reduce hazards and free personnel to perform more complex tasks, as well as requiring fewer people to do multiple missions

ONR officials note that while the LOCUST autonomy is cutting edge compared to remote-controlled UAVs, there will always be a human monitoring the mission, able to step in and take control as desired. «This level of autonomous swarming flight has never been done before», said Mastroianni. «UAVs that are expendable and reconfigurable will free manned aircraft and traditional weapon systems to do more, and essentially multiply combat power at decreased risk to the warfighter».

UAVs reduce hazards and free personnel to perform more complex tasks, as well as requiring fewer people to do multiple missions. Lowering costs is a major benefit of UAVs as well. Even hundreds of small autonomous UAVs cost less than a single tactical aircraft – and, officials note, having this capability will force adversaries to focus on UAV swarm response.

Coyote UAV can carry either an electro-optical (EO) or infrared (IR) camera and data transmitter (Length: 0.91 m; Wingspan: 1.47 m; Maximum Takeoff Weight: 5.9 kg; Endurance: 1 h; Ceiling: 6,096 m; Payload: 0.9 kg)
Coyote UAV can carry either an electro-optical (EO) or infrared (IR) camera and data transmitter (Length: 0.91 m; Wingspan: 1.47 m; Maximum Takeoff Weight: 5.9 kg; Endurance: 1 h; Ceiling: 6,096 m; Payload: 0.9 kg)

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s Sailing Directions to the fleet note that over the next 10 to 15 years, the U.S. Navy will evolve and remain the preeminent maritime force. It directs: «Unmanned systems in the air and water will employ greater autonomy and be fully integrated with their manned counterparts».

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and non-profit institutions over 960 industry partners. ONR through its commands including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.

 

The LOCUST program will make possible the launch of multiple swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm and adversary