A UK-US team has conducted a trial of unmanned resupply technologies and concepts.
Through the Coalition Assured Autonomous Resupply (CAAR) demonstration, the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), and the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) examined the use of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) – in the form of modified manned platforms – and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in logistics roles. The event was conducted at Camp Grayling, Michigan.
The work included a representative coalition sustainment convoy as well as an autonomous last mile (in both ground and air) scenario – the co-ordinated support last mile project has been in development for 3 years.
According to Dstl, the aim of an autonomous last mile resupply system is to reduce the demand on existing platforms and infrastructure, reduce the risk and burden on military personnel, increase the efficiency of last mile logistic and resupply operations with pace and accuracy, and provide an assured resupply capability for forward military users to enable more agile operations in complex environments.
The convoy operated in a leader/follower configuration and travelled at speeds of up to 40 km/h; it was escorted by two unmanned US Army HMMWV vehicles fitted with Robotic Toolkit Software. The leader vehicle was a British Army Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV) HX-60 truck, which was followed by two US Army Oshkosh Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTVs); both truck types were equipped with the Lockheed Martin-developed Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS). AMAS is a multisensor appliqué kit that is designed for integration with tactical wheeled vehicles and can be retrofitted to legacy fleets.
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