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UK StratCom buys V60 ‘robotic dogs'

V60 systems have been supplied to the US military, among others. (Silvus Technologies)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the purchase of two Ghost Robotics Corporation Vision 60 (V60) quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicles (Q-UGVs) for experimentation.

Valued at GBP449,000 (USD590,332), the contract – let by the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group to UK reseller Edgar Brothers and publicly confirmed on 2 March – also includes a two-year warranty package.

The Tactical Weaponised UGV project is exploring the use of Q-UGVs in dangerous and complex urban environments, and in extreme and complex terrain. It is envisaged that Q-UGVs can enable troops to operate faster and longer, and step back from some of the most challenging and dangerous operational tasks.

The V60 ‘robotic dog' is a mid-sized high-endurance Q-UGV designed for all-weather use in a broad range of unstructured urban and natural environments. UK Strategic Command has procured the two V60 systems to explore their application to ‘dull, dirty, and dangerous' roles: the V60 was sourced on the basis that it is the only solution on the market with the potential to be weaponised to support counter-terrorism and urban warfare missions.

According to the MoD, the V60 system can support up to 10 kg payload, and offers a modular capability that enables a variety of existing specialist equipment to be stored and transported. It adds, “The V60's underlying proprietary electronics, software stack, and control system for complex actuated systems are the only suitable platform available to the market that will effectively support stable and assured weaponisation.”

The DE&S Future Capability Group has also confirmed the purchase of the Boston Dynamics SPOT Q-UGV as part of the same experimentation programme.

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