FCS Fallout: Army Axes Two Robotic Systems

The U.S. Army decided to terminate two more robotic programs previously associated with the Future Combat Systems (FCS) – the service is suspending its version of the Northrop Grumman FireScout (Class IV UAV), and the Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment (MULE) robotic vehicle developed by Lockheed Martin. Both programs were managed as part of the Army FCS by Lead System Integrators Boeing and SAIC. (read more...)

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In a statement to congress explaining the decision the Army concludes the MULE in its current design cannot meet the rapidly changing threats, nor meet the Army’s future mission needs. The current force Shadow UAV can meet future Army requirements with product improvements, thus making the Class IV UAV redundant. FireScout MQ-8B is a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTUAV) developed for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The Army was evaluating a land-based version of the system. Northrop Grumman has been testing a version of the FireScout designed for use by land forces, developed with company funding, in anticipation of a 2014 fielding of the aircraft to brigade combat teams. This system, dubbed 'white tail' is slated to participate in the U.S. Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga., later this month.

 

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