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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jane's Updates on Military Robotic Systems

UAV attacks on Pakistan-based militants reach peak.

Attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets in the northwest area of Pakistan reached a new peak in 2010. By the end of December, a total of 120 attacks had been reported for the year, more than twice the 51 recorded in 2009. In its own listing of attacks, the website reported that in the course of 2010, 18 "senior Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders" had been killed.

Special Report: Bringing up the rear in a big way: UGV dismount support

Lockheed Martin recently showcased the capabilities of its developmental Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at its Grand Prairie facility near Dallas, Texas. The SMSS - also known as the 'Ox' - is an autonomous or remotely controlled six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle intended to support light infantry force manoeuvre by taking the load off the front-line soldier.

DARPA sets sail with ultra-long-endurance USV project

'Unmanned'  always a good idea ?
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded three concept design contracts as it takes the first steps towards the goal of an ultra-long-endurance unmanned surface vessel (USV) capable of tracking potentially hostile submarines for months at a time. Northrop Grumman, QinetiQ North America and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) have each received Phase 1 contracts valued at about USD2 million apiece.

US Marine Corps studies unmanned convoy potential.

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is experimenting with autonomous convoy technology to determine its feasibility and possible operating procedures. Officials at the USMC Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) have selected Oshkosh's TerraMax technology to be integrated on the marines' ubiquitous Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) truck, company officials told Jane's on 24 August at an annual conference hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

US trials unmanned Marine Corps resupply.

Four new Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate (GUSS) remotely operated vehicles designed and built by Virginia Tech students under contract to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division completed a period of operational experimentation in July during Exercise 'Rim of the Pacific' (RIMPAC) in Hawaii. GUSS was conceived as a robotic 'mule' to re-supply troops in the field, being able to carry up to 1,800 lb (816 kg) at about five miles per hour.