Northrop Grumman is demonstrating its carry-all modular equipment landrover (Camel) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) during the ongoing US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Robotics Limited Demonstration at Fort Benning in Georgia, US.

Having participated in the squad-multipurpose equipment transport (S-MET) course with a ‘lighten-the-load’ CaMEL configuration, the company is set to participate in a wireless live firing event with the robot’s armed variant, called the mobile armed dismount support system, on 10 October.

The CaMEL and other robotic systems will be evaluated on the S-MET range to help the army in developing requirements in operational range, speed, load-bearing capacity, navigation options, including tethered, wireless and autonomous, mobility and manoeuvrability in multiple terrain, obstacle detection and avoidance, energy efficiency categories, the company had earlier noted.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems sector Integrated Platform Solutions business director Phil Coker said CaMEL can quickly switch from supporting troops to safeguarding them as an armed wingman, increasing the firepower of dismounted platoon and company manoeuvre units.

"Its hybrid engine allows the armed CaMEL to operate very quietly – a real plus on the battlefield."

"Its hybrid engine allows the armed CaMEL to operate very quietly – a real plus on the battlefield – and travel farther to provide firepower where it’s needed," Coker said.

A mid-sized UAV, CaMEL is designed to accommodate several mission payloads, conduct casualty evacuation, mine routes clearance operations, transport ammunition, barrier materials for obstacles and food and water supplies for dismounted mortar platoons.

Serving as a mobile communications platform, towed artillery ammunition carrier, robotic weapon system and network retransmission platform, CaMEL also generates power that can be exported and used for charging batteries or powering other systems.

In armed configuration, the robot can carry a range of crew-served weapons, including the MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher, M2 heavy machine gun, M240/249 machine gun and 25mm and 30mm weapon systems, besides a 1,000lb equipment load at 5m/hour speed across rough terrain.

Defence Technology