Rheinmetall is developing a multipurpose unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) based on an 8x8 all-terrain platform.
Speaking to Jane's at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, Marc Carrier, account director at Rheinmetall Canada, said that the vision for the multimission UGV is to have a common platform on which a number of mission configurations can be integrated.
The base vehicle is an undisclosed in-service platform, Carrier said. It has been ruggedised and is fully amphibious; it also has an optionally tracked configuration. According to the company, the UGV has a top speed of 40 km/h.
Carrier said that he expects qualification of the system to be complete by the end of the year, and does not envisage any issues as the components that make up the various configurations are already proven.
The initial application of the system that will be examined is a reconnaissance configuration, with other projected mission sets including as a logistics support platform; in a casualty evacuation role; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear reconnaissance; communications relay; and as a weaponised system.
For the weaponised role, Carrier said that two Rheinmetall remote weapon stations (RWSs) have been identified as potential solutions - Qimek and Amarok. Further payloads under consideration include the Rosy self-protection system, non-lethal weapons, radar, and acoustic detection systems.
The vehicle can be operated by direct remote control - via radio frequency (RF) line-of-sight or satellite communications - or can be programmed to follow GPS waypoints.
It also features what Carrier described as a "teach and repeat" capability, whereby the system remembers routes that it has followed and can automatically follow these when commanded to do so.
As well as control from a dedicated station, the vehicle can be operated by personnel deployed alongside it via a gamepad-style unit or utilise a follow-me function, whereby the onboard light detection and ranging (LIDAR) tracks the operator at a set distance, adjusting its speed accordingly.
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