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December 3, 2021

RBSL-led consortium to explore concepts for British Army’s future UGVs

Dstl and the consortium are working together on concept development, analysis, and technology risk reduction.

A consortium led by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) is working to explore new concepts for a highly capable uncrewed ground vehicle (UGV) for the British Army.

This comes after the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an agency under the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), started a new study to assess different approaches to UGVs. The study is part of the larger mounted combat systems research project.

Under the initiative, Dstl and the consortium will be focusing on concept development, analysis, and technology risk reduction.

The aim of the project is to develop an agile UGV platform with amphibious capabilities that is able to traverse through different terrains.

The study will also evaluate the feasibility of integrating UGV capabilities with other crewed platforms in manoeuvre warfare.

Dstl project manager for the study Matt Ackroyd said: “In order to meet demanding and conflicting requirements, novel modular concepts have been developed which would allow platforms to be configured in theatre to meet specific mission requirements.

“We are thrilled to be working with RBSL and the wider consortium to explore new ways to meet these requirements and enable the spectrum of operations that UGV must deliver.”

Alongside RBSL, the other partners in the consortium are Prodrive, ARKE, Think!Creative, Cranfield University and BAE Systems.

The partners aim to develop solutions in two phases, firstly by using currently available or mature technologies and then using technologies that are expected to be available after ten years for the second phase.

The initiative will primarily focus on medium-weight platforms weighing approximately 2-5 tonnes. These UGVs can be used for casualty evacuation, re-supply mission, reconnaissance and communication, and other operations.

RBSL mobility head Dr Marcus Potter said: “Not only will this study deliver exciting results for UGV development, it also provides an opportunity to develop new technologies for UK defence.

“RBSL is proud to be leading the consortium on this work and exercising our significant capabilities in mobility and survivability.”

Earlier this year, RBSL secured an £800m contract with the MOD to upgrade 148 Challenger 3 main battle tanks.

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