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US Army selects four vendors for long-running SMET unmanned ground vehicle

15 December 2017
The optionally manned MRZR X is based on Polaris’ four-seat MRZR vehicle, which is in widespread service. Source: Polaris Government and Defense

Key Points

  • General Dynamics Land Systems, ARA teamed with Polaris, Howe and Howe, and HDT were selected for the US Army’s SMET trials
  • In fiscal year 2019 the army will decide whether to make SMET a programme of record and downselect to one system

The US Army has downselected to four participants for its unmanned Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET): General Dynamics Land Systems, Applied Research Associates Inc (ARA) teamed with Polaris, Howe and Howe, and HDT, the army confirmed on 15 December.

Polaris, ARA, and Neya Systems teamed to submit the MRZR X, based on Polaris’ MRZR that has been sold to the US Army in several manned variants. This optionally manned 4x4 vehicle can travel up to 96 km/h, weighs 867 kg, and has an operational payload of 680 kg. With one or both rear seats removed, one or two litters can be carried.

General Dynamics submitted its 4x4 multi-utility tactical transport (MUTT) that weighs 375 kg and can travel at speeds of 13 km/h. The wheels can be swapped out for a quad track system and the vehicle is amphibious.

HDT Global’s SMET offering was the Hunter WOLF (Wheeled Offload Logistics Follower), the company told Jane’s in October. The 6x6 skid-steer platform is electrically driven with an integrated generator to charge its batteries, weighs 1,100 kg, and can travel at speeds of up to 32 km/h.

Howe and Howe, known for its Ripsaw vehicles, appears to have offered its RS2-H1, a tracked, high-torque electric drive diesel hybrid platform that weighs 744 kg. As of this writing, Jane’s could not confirm that specific system.

“While these proposals were selected for the planned Phase II effort, contract awards have not been made and will depend on new start authority requested with [fiscal year 2018] FY 2018 appropriations,” Lieutenant Colonel Cory Berg, product manager for applique and large unmanned ground systems (ALUGS), told Jane’s in an emailed statement.

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