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ABBS unveils Dragon UGV mine-clearing concept

Conceptual drawing of the ABBS Dragon mine-clearing UGV presented at FAVS 2023. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

United Kingdom-based company Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems (ABBS) displayed its Dragon mine-clearing unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) concept at SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability (FAVS) 2023 conference held in London between 13 and 15 November.

Described as an “attritable autonomous ground vehicle for minefield breaching” by ABBS, the Dragon is a wheeled UGV designed to clear a path through minefields by using its many wheels as sacrificial mine rollers.

Conceived in 2023, the concept was developed in response to the difficulties encountered by Ukrainian forces tasked with breaching Russian minefields during Ukraine's summer offensive that commenced in June. The Dragon is intended to be lighter and more survivable against mines, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and artillery than the conventional manned breaching vehicles used by Ukraine and Western militaries.

Projected to weigh 20 tonnes, the Dragon has an open skeletal frame to reduce weight and make it harder to hit. This frame connects two protected pods encapsulating the critical power and control systems. These pods have a V-shaped floor profile to deflect mine blasts and their power and control systems are cross-connected to allow for some redundancy if one pod is disabled.

Each pod has eight separate wheel stations, with two wheels each separated by the pod's V-shaped floor. There are two further reserve wheel sets at the front of each pod that are normally held in a raised position but can be lowered to the ground to replace other wheel stations if they are damaged.

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