The UK plans to replace its Wheelbarrow Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) system with up to 100 modern robotic system, under the Cutlass Main Explosive Ordnance Disposal Control System program, attracted the interest of EOD robot manufacturers including Foster-Miller, a US subsidiary of QinetiQ and Telerob, a Rheinmetall subsidiary, teaming with Marshall SV of the UK.
Foster Miller recently announced that the US Armed Forces increased their order for its robots for up to 1,200 units, at a total cost of $124m. Foster Miller’s Talon weighs less than 45kg and is considered to be one of the fastest in the robot market. Talon is also offered in an armed version, called Sword. Configured with either an M240 or M249 machine guns or Barrett 50-calibre rifle for, Sword can be used for armed reconnaissance missions.
Telerob’s “Teodor” of which 200 units have been produced so far, is already operational by the German Army and Australia. The system designed for the British Cutlass program weighs about 300 kg and travels at a maximum speed of 9 km/h. Mounting eight cameras, the robot is equipped with an extra-long, eight axes manipulator arm, which can move heavy objects of up to 20 kg. The system can automatically draw one of four types of armament from the weapon’s magazine.
The issue of combating improvised explosive devices (IED) was addressed by Netline from Israel, displaying a range of communications jammer devices, used for vehicle protection and neutralizing communications at a locality where EOD teams are operating. Innovative spray-on armor was demonstrated by Dynashield. Rapid barrier construction systems were displayed by Bastion.
On the light armored vehicles side, a first view of the Iveco/BAE Systems’ Panther Light Command Vehicle was on display, as well as the Eagle IV from Mowag. The Eagle was equipped with Elbit’s ORCWS weapon station, mounting a 7.62mm machine gun. An armored version of the Unimog all terrain vehicle was on display at Armor Holdings. A new light tactical vehicles unveiled here was Al-Thalab (Fox) long Range Patrol Vehicle based on the Toyota LandCruiser.
Other topics covered in this review: