Tag Archives: UGV

Computerized canines

Over the last year, Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) and the 325th Security Forces Squadron have been working with Ghost Robotics to develop a system to enhance security and safety for the base population.

Computerized canines
An unmanned ground vehicle is tested at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, November 10, 2020. Tyndall AFB is one of the first military bases to implement the semi-autonomous UGV’s (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) into their defense regiment. The semi-autonomous robot dogs will aid in reconnaissance and enhanced security patrolling operations across the base (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1 st Class Tiffany Price)

Tyndall AFB will be one of the first Air Force bases to implement semi-autonomous robot dogs into their patrolling regiment. These computerized canines demonstrated their abilities November 10 at an event attended by Major General Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander, and leadership from the 325th Fighter Wing and the Tyndall AFB Program Management Office.

«We are very excited», said Major Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander. «We are the first unit within the Department of Defense to use this technology for enhanced security patrolling operations».

While these robots walk on all fours and resemble a dog, they are not intended to replace the military working dogs. Instead, they will aid in patrolling operations and, in doing so, allow Tyndall AFB’s defenders to focus their efforts on security actions that require a physical presence.

«These robot dogs will be used as a force multiplier for enhanced situational awareness by patrolling areas that aren’t desirable for human beings and vehicles», Criss said.

Criss explained that the robot dogs will be given a patrol path which will be set and monitored by the Security Forces Electronic Security Sensor System noncommissioned officer in charge.

«We will be able to drive them via a virtual-reality headset within our Base Defense Operations Center», Criss said. «We will be able to see exactly what the robot dog is detecting through its mobile camera and sensor platform if desired, we will also be able to issue verbal commands to a person or people through a radio attached to the dogs».

The semi-autonomous canines allow defenders that would otherwise be patrolling these areas to focus on training, security and overall situational awareness across the base.

«These dogs will be an extra set of eyes and ears while computing large amounts of data at strategic locations throughout Tyndall Air Force Base», Criss said. «They will be a huge enhancement for our defenders and allow flexibility in the posting and response of our personnel».

This technology has the potential to replace and exceed the capabilities of certain static defense equipment especially in a contingency, disaster, or deployed environment. This makes Tyndall AFB, post Hurricane Michael, the perfect home for the Air Force’s newest computerized canines.

Tactical Transport

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK has delivered two fully-electric 8×8 Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) to the British Army.

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK awarded contract to provide two Unmanned Ground Vehicles to the British Army

Alongside the delivery of these UGV’s, which took place in April 2020, General Dynamics Land Systems-UK will provide New Operator Training, Maintainer Training, In-Service Support, Maintainer Tools and Spares, including a fully-supported Helpdesk.

Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: «This Robotic Platoon Vehicle contract award is recognition of General Dynamics Land Systems’ extensive efforts to meet the needs of Armed Forces worldwide with innovative solutions to the changing landscape of the modern battlefield. We look forward to supporting the British Army in maximising the outstanding capabilities that MUTT provides».

The MUTT, which provides both wheeled and tracked variants, is a rugged, reliable small-unit force multiplier providing increased battlefield capabilities. As a controller-less small-unit robotic follower, it lightens the load across different combat operations.  As a remote-controlled or tele-operated team mate, it provides stand-off from threats or increased projection of combat power. The MUTT is engineered to easily evolve to accommodate new payloads, including Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and Lethality, and proven levels of enhanced autonomy that we are already fielding elsewhere.

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.

Milrem Robotics

The leading European missile systems designer and producer MBDA and unmanned vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics will begin developing the world’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) specially designed for anti-tank purposes.

MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle
MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle

The joint project will feature the IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system from MBDA that will be integrated onto the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle by Milrem Robotics.

The system will be remotely operated and is in line with the system developers’ main aim of exchanging humans on the battlefield for much more capable robots.

«One of the challenges in urban warfare is keeping anti-tank infantry hidden from the enemy’s surveillance equipment that can very easily detect soldier’s heat signature. The aim of our joint integration project is developing a system that has a low heat signature and most importantly – will keep infantry in a safe distance», explained Brig Gen (res) Alar Laneman, military advisor of Milrem Robotics.

«MMP, the world’s only 5th Generation anti-tank guided weapon, now in service within the French Armed Forces, has been developed for both mounted and dismounted applications and is suitable for unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). With its 4km+ range and its two firing modes – Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock On After Launch (LOAL) – the MMP gives to THeMIS UGV an unmatched capability to engage a target beyond line of sight. MMP allows, within remote operation, to engage very discreetly battlefield targets at ranges greater than the enemies counter fire, from behind cover and within structures in fighting in built-up areas. The MMP Firing installation deployed on UGV also provides an ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, & Reconnaissance) capability and, through direct integration with a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) network, delivers battlefield intelligence out beyond the platoon», added the former Colonel Francis Bordachar, military advisor of MBDA.