A robotic load carrier developed by Boeing UK in cooperation with utility vehicle manufacturer John Deere and Boeing UK is unveiled today at DSEi 2011. The robotic vehicle called R-Gator A3 Assisted Carriage System (ACS) is based on John Deere’s R-Gator robotic utility vehicle.
It is designed to help reduce the amount of weight they have to carry in the field – often as much as half their own body weight in equipment, armor and supplies. The ACS can support an infantry section of up to eight men by allowing them to offload up to 635kg of individual equipment. It can also carry an increased level of combat ready supplies for more effective patrolling and re-supply operations. It can be reconfigured to meet a multitude of ground support needs.
The R-Gator ACS supports the dismounted teams with offering a highly capable cross-country mobility platform capable of keeping up with soldiers over rough terrain. The system utilizes John Deere’s proven M-Gator platform, with modified based on feedback received from soldiers and marines. According to Boeing, the modified vehicle can better perform tactical support functions, and meet the heavy-duty hauling requirements of military applications. For example, the A3’s has multiple tie-down points for sling loading, underbody skid plates, a front cargo rack and a rifle mount system to carry military specific loads. The vehicle implements precision guidance, navigation and obstacle avoidance technologies derived from John Deere’s field proven agricultural product range. R-Gator ACS can operate autonomously or be driven manually in day and night.
Both the R-Gator and the new M-Gator A3 have adjustable four-wheel independent suspension, high ground clearance and an enclosed clutch for improved fording capabilities, and a top speed of 32mph. John Deere claims the M-Gator A3 is the fastest commercial off-the-shelf diesel utility vehicle on the market.