The UK Ministry of Defense’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has started work to develop new approaches to unmanned ground vehicles as part of the “Mounted Combat Systems” research project.
The RBSL-led consortium is working with DSTL on concept development, analysis and technology risk reduction.
The primary goal of the team is to develop a more robust, agile and efficient platform that can work at high pace and within the decision cycle of opposing forces.
The study also aims to demonstrate how UGV capabilities can be integrated with platforms in maneuver warfare and provide an insight into what the British Army’s future strength could be.
RBSL and its partners are developing solutions in two phases, the first using existing or mature technologies, and the second using technologies that are likely to be available in more than 10 years.
The consortium focuses on medium-weight platforms (about 2-5 tonnes) that enable it to carry a range of critical payloads for resupply, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance, weapons platforms, traps and communications.
The program creates potential export opportunities for the UK while maintaining highly skilled roles within the consortium.
It also provides significant operational advantage by using new technologies to integrate into UK defense capabilities.
Providing information about the study, DSTL Project Manager Matt Ackroyd said:
“To meet the demanding and contradictory requirements, new modular concepts have been developed to meet the specific mission requirements of the platforms. We are excited to work with RBSL and the wider consortium to explore new ways to meet these requirements and enable the range of operations that the UGV has to offer.”
The next step of the program will be an evaluation phase, where concepts will be benchmarked against existing UGVs.