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Eurosatory 2022: German Army to receive PackBot 525 UGVs

Teledyne's FirstLook (front) and PackBot 525 (rear) UGVs displayed at Eurosatory 2022 (Alexander Stronell/Janes)

The German Army is to receive more than 120 PackBot 525 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots.

The deliveries follow a four-year dialogue between PackBot manufacturer Teledyne FLIR and the German Army, according to industry sources speaking to Janes at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris. 127 systems in total are expected to be delivered, with deliveries ongoing and set to conclude in July.

Janes understands that PackBot procurement discussions began following the acquisition by the German Army of the FirstLook throwable observation robot.

The PackBot 525 is the latest in the PackBot series of multifunctional man-transportable unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), which are primarily intended for EOD tasks. Speaking at Eurosatory 2022, Teledyne FLIR officials confirmed that the system has undergone a series of upgrades, including the addition of high-powered HD cameras.

In addition to its EOD role, the PackBot 525 is designed for close-in surveillance, hostage situations, and hazardous materials removal, among others.

The system weighs approximately 22 to 27 kg depending on which mission systems are integrated. In a typical configuration it features an arm with HD and thermal cameras, and a gripper. Its radio control system can be repeated across several vehicles to increase its maximum range, which is understood to be around 1000 m line of sight. It can also be fitted with various chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear detection instruments. The human-machine interface is a handheld touchscreen controller common to Teledyne FLIR remote control ground systems.

PackBot variants have been operational in many theatres, including Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Teledyne , PackBot variants have been acquired by 57 countries.

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