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DVD 2022: Horiba Mira to deliver ISTAR Viking UGVs to British Army in 2023

Horiba Mira's Viking unmanned ground vehicle exhibited in the logistics and resupply configuration at DVD 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)

Horiba Mira is to deliver two Viking unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) configuration to the British Army in 2023, Janes has learnt.

Speaking to Janes at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2022 – the British Army's biennial defence industry exhibition – Andrew Maloney, chief engineer for defence and UGVs at Horiba Mira, confirmed that the vehicles will be delivered as part of the British Army's efforts to establish a robotic autonomous systems (RAS)-enhanced brigade by 2025.

Horiba Mira signed the contract for the vehicles with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in January 2022, with final deliveries anticipated by spring 2023. The payloads, which Janes understands are in the process of integration onto the Viking platforms, include air and ground radars, day and night cameras, and laser rangefinders.

The Viking is a medium 6×6 wheeled UGV built at Horiba Mira's facilities in Nuneaton. The company earlier delivered three Viking vehicles to the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). These underwent trials as part of Project Theseus (the MoD's last mile resupply effort), and are also undergoing trials in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defence roles.

Janes understands that the vehicles, scheduled to be delivered in 2023, will be the first ISTAR-configured Viking UGVs destined for trials in the hands of the user.

Maloney said that in the field, the vehicles would likely be used to screen the brigade's main force and identify enemy positions and assets.


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