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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

02 Jul 10. Remotec rolls out latest Wheelbarrow UGV. Remotec displayed its Wheelbarrow Mk 9 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at the 2010 Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) exhibition. The Mk 9 is the latest iteration in the Wheelbarrow family and the Northrop Grumman subsidiary has leveraged some technologies developed for the UK Ministry of Defence’s Cutlass UGV programme. The same three-fingered gripper that will equip Cutlass (UGV) is fitted to the Mk 9; this features variable force control and a ceramic cutter. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

Jul 10. QinetiQ’s TALON robots now in use in Afghanistan under a UOR. QinetiQ is supplying its battle proven Talon robots to the UK Ministry of Defence for route proving and clearance, under the British Army’s Talisman programme. Deployed since April 2010 in Afghanistan, but only just announced, Talisman is the Army’s latest weapon to help counter the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and mines. Delivered as an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) collectively worth more than £180m, Talisman is a suite of vehicles that provide an integrated route proving and clearance capability that is operated by the Royal Engineers. Much of the work on the Thales led Talisman project has been done and delivered by UK companies. Each Talisman system, in addition to having Talon units, comprises a variety of other vehicles including the Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle; a Buffalo Mine Protected Vehicle with a manipulator arm; a JCB High Mobility Engineer Excavator; and a T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle. This is the first order the MOD has placed for QinetiQ’s larger battle proven Talon robots and they now join the 100 Dragon Runners robots announced and delivered into theatre last year by QinetiQ for Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) and ordnance disposal operations. The order for Talons also includes training, spares and a support package.
“We are delighted that our Talon robots are now in use with the MOD and helping to save lives,” stated Neville Salkeld, MD for QinetiQ’s UK Technology Solutions Group. “Talon robots already have an excellent and proven record with US forces with over 3000 units having been supplied. Many are in constant use in-theatre and are supported by a rapid in theatre repair service which because of the systems’ robust modular design means a damaged unit can often be returned to operational status within just a few hours.”
“Talisman will improve our ability to manage the IED and mine threat with the system’s primary mission being to protect vehicle convoys delivering supplies to Forward Operating Bases,” added Patrick Beazley, Head of Combat Wheels Group at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). “It has been designed as a flexible manoeuvre support capability that can be quickly re-tasked and rearranged to meet different missions, operating independently or alongside other bomb disposal systems dependent on the threat. Talisman is now part of a wide range of tools, techniques and tactics we have to help mitigate the risk to our forces from the threat of IEDs.”

14 Jul 10. Boeing has submitted its proposal for the US Army’s enhanced medium-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance system (EMARSS) programme. EMARSS aims to develop a defence capability to detect, identify and track surface targets day or night, in almost all weather conditions, with greater accuracy. The airborne targeting support system will be equipped with an electro-optic/infrared full motion video sensor, a communications intelligence collection system, an aerial precision guidance system and enhanced communications suites. Operating as a single platform, EMARSS will also incorporate two operator workstations and a self-protection suite, and primarily undergo tactical missions. The US Army is expected to announce the contract for the manufacture and delivery of EMARSS by the end of September 2010. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)

13 Jul 10. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has issued a global reque

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