AUVSI 2012: US Marines to receive Dragon Runner 10s for Afghan ops
By Huw Williams
The US Marine Corps (USMC) is set to receive QinetiQ North America Dragon Runner 10 (DR 10) unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere is leveraging the capabilities of the company's Tactical Robotic Controller (TRC).
An undisclosed number of systems will be delivered through to the end of the year under a USD4.3 million contract.
The USMC's decision to deploy the small UGV follows a growing trend for the use of such systems. The United States Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is evaluating a number of different lightweight UGVs in theatre, including the DR 10, of which it ordered more than 100 in January.
These lightweight systems are typically used for reconnaissance and close-up inspection of objects. However, QinetiQ North America has developed a small manipulator that enables the DR 10 to conduct limited engineering tasks, such as cutting command detonation wires on improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It is not known if the USMC's DR 10s will be equipped with this capability.
The DR 10 is the smallest member of QinetiQ North America's UGV family and its '10' designation stems from its weight 10 lb (4.5 kg).195 of 458 words
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