The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to QinetiQ to supply combat-proven Talon robots for route clearance operations in Afghanistan.

As part of the British Army’s Talisman programme, the company will also provide repair and spare parts, training and logistics support.

Talisman is an advanced weapon to help the army fight and diffuse improvised explosive devices (IED) and mines.

The counter-IED weapon is a suite of vehicles that provides an integrated route proving and clearance capability. It has been delivered to UK forces in Afghanistan as an urgent operational requirement worth over £180m ($270m).

The Talisman system comprises a range of vehicles including the Mastiff protected patrol vehicle, a Buffalo mine-protected vehicle, a JCB high-mobility engineer excavator and a T-Hawk micro air vehicle.

Defence Equipment and Support Combat Wheels Group head Patrick Beazley said Talisman had been designed as a flexible manoeuvre support capability that could be quickly configured for different missions.

The Talon robots to be delivered under the recent contract will join the 100 Dragon Runners robots delivered to theatre last year.