DSEI 2017 Reflects the Latest Trends

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Unmanned Systems Assume New Roles

Another MOD requirement for a robotic load carrier attracted quite a few exhibitors to display existing and new robotic vehicles designed to support troops on dismounted operations. For this application MOD has put out a requirement for an Autonomous Last Mile Resupply System (ALMRS) – an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that will be able to deploy by ground and by air, carry loads and support troops with various sensor payloads.

Among the systems on display at DSEI was the TITAN from QinetiQ, the Ironclad, a tracked robotic vehicle from BAE Systems, and two 8×8 wheeled robots – the Multi-Mission-UGV from Rheinmetall and Hippo-X Robotic Load carriers, from Pardus Defense & Security, based on a manned all-terrain vehicle (ATV) platform. The latter is a lightweight tactical mobility platform (LTMP) 8×8 equipment transporter can carry up to 750 kg of load, traveling on land and water. Designed for air mobility in CH47 or AW101, or sling loaded by medium transport helicopter, the Hippo is air-droppable by palletized parachute delivery. It can be used as a robotic platform, using 5kW of onboard electrical power to run battery charging or water purification devices, reducing the unit’s dependence on transported logistics.

The TITAN tracked dismounted troop support system is based on Milrem Robotics THeMIS platform and QinetiQ’s robotic systems and controllers. The robot uses a pair of diesel-electric hybrid tracked drive modules providing all terrain, long-range endurance with silent-run capability.

Unmanned systems also demonstrated new capabilities derived from the latest multirotor technologies, for example, the AMULET drone carrying a ground penetrating radar to help detect and map minefields. The drone is fitted with various sensors maintaining a fixed altitude above ground, as it sweeps the suspected minefield. Another solution, using a different drone, is the Protector SR WO3, developed to address UK requirement to improve counter-IED capabilities. Protector carries a disrupter to dismantle explosive charges is able to neutralize IED threats from the air or from the ground.

Lockheed Martin also unveiled the Outrider, an innovative UAV that can launch from submarines.

As the importance of UAVs grows, so does the capabilities to defeat those systems – using electronic or cyber ‘soft kill’ and lethal power of guns, laser.

Main Highlights:

Rheinmetal’s multi mission robot was seen at DSEI carrying a weapon station with heavy machine gun and anti-tank rocket grenades. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.
Side view of Rheinmetall’s MM-UGV.
AUDS is one of several counter-UAV systems deployed by the US forces in Iraq and Syria, against attack drones operated by ISIS. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Iron, unveiled by BAE Systems, is a new robot designed for autonomous operations in the field, supporting troops with load carrying, casualties evacuation and energy supply. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The Protector from SR is equipped with a disruptor that deactivates IEDs from a distance of 20 meters. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
ARX-25 from Nexter is a remotely controlled weapon station mounting a 25mm cannon with 280 rounds, and s 7.62mm machinegun. The unit can be equipped with EO payloads for hunter-killer operation. It is fitted with STANAG Level 2 armor and integration with smoke dischargers. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.

This was only a brief coverage of some of the show highlights. You are invited to get more insights on modern defense trends by following Defense-Update and VideoReport.