South Korea’s Hanwha Group has unveiled a new 4?4 modular unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) development programme that is aimed at addressing a future Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) requirement for autonomous tactical support platforms.
Under development by Hanwha Land Systems’ Defense Robot Team since October 2017, the Multi-Purpose Unmanned Vehicle (MPUV) – which is 2.84 m long, 1.5 m wide, and 1.67 m tall – leverages on the experience gained from its earlier 4?4 STAR-M4 logistics UGV programme and has a fully laden weight and payload capacity of 860 kg.
Unlike the smaller 350 kg Star M4 that is specifically designed to reduce the load of dismounted infantry by transporting their weapons and ammunition, mission-critical equipment and food, water, and medical supplies on unpaved roads and cross-country terrain, the MPUV can also undertake reconnaissance and combat operations to augment forward-deployed infantry units with a lightweight remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a S&T Motiv 5.56 mm K3 machine gun.
Other mission equipment can include a gunfire locator system that enables the MPUV to detect incoming 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, and 12.7 mm calibre fire at distances of up to 3 km, triangulate possible sources, and display these locations on the handheld operator’s console display. According to Hanwha engineers, the system and offers over 85% accuracy during company trials.
A multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can also be integrated into the MPUV, functioning as an organic offboard sensor and communications relay to extend the vehicle’s control and data transmission range. Alternatively, the rear payload bay can be used to evacuate a wounded soldier.
The electric-powered vehicle features all-wheel drive (AWD) and all-wheel steering (AWS) capabilities for enhanced manoeuvrability, and is capable of carrying up to 160 kg of stores at a maximum speed of 20 km/h over uneven terrain.
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