The AvantGuard unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGCV)
The AvantGuard unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGCV) is developed by G-NIUS Unmanned Ground Systems in Israel. G-NIUS is jointly-owned by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems.
The AvantGuard UGCV is specifically designed for manoeuvring in harsh terrain environments and counter improvised explosive devices (IED). It is developed on the G-NIUS Guardium UGV, which has been in service with the IDF since 2008. Avantguard was delivered to Israeli Defence Forces Army (IDF) on 7 June 2010.
AvantGuard UGCV development
The AvantGuard is a mission variant of the Guardium UGV, developed and manufactured by G-NIUS.
The other variant is the Guardium-LS (logistic support) UGV, which supports soldiers by carrying up to 1.2t of ammunition. The company is also developing Nahshon based on the Guardium technology, scheduled to be delivered in 2011.
Through the Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2005, Elbit Systems unveiled the design of the autonomous AvantGuard. The vehicle was developed for operations including surveillance, patrolling of routes, and reconnaissance for security missions, and detection and neutralisation of IEDs. It was developed based on the Tomcar model TM27GL all-terrain vehicle (ATV) being used by Israeli Border Police and the IDF.
Several trials were conducted on AvantGuard by the Israeli Army to test its reliability of technology and capabilities.
Guardium UGV design
The AvantGuard technology is based on Guardium UGV system control technology, and deploys the effective and rapid combat capabilities of smaller tactical amphibious ground support (TAGS) platform built by Dumur Industries. The integrated technology increases ground manoeuvring of the AvantGuard vehicle in combat missions. The effective integration of Guardium’s autonomous kit with TAGS platform enhances the adaptability and robustness of the vehicle.
The 1,746kg weighing AvantGuard UGCV has several modular payloads of 1,088kg. It incorporates a counter-improvised explosive device (CIED) jammer, ground penetrating radar, counter-human and vehicle detection radar and a mini-pop cooled thermal surveillance camera. The mini-pop is an 8in electro-optical stabilised lightweight payload that provides real-time images and automated video tracking in day or night surveillance.
Semi-autonomous control features
Advanced communications and all-terrain manoeuvrability allow the AvantGuard to undertake semi-autonomous and tele-operations. The UGCV can detect and has proven real-time obstacles avoidance and a safe system. The modular payload – radar, two-way audio link, RFID, electronic counter measures, EO / IR camera, hostile fire indicator (HFI) – can be selected based on the missions.
AvantGuard can be deployed in various combat operations including advance guard, counter IED, armed sentry, combat logistic support and casualty evacuation (CASEVAC).
AvantGuard observation and communications
The AvantGuard is fitted with advanced sensors and robotics technology. It can be operated in a semi-autonomous mode or controlled by a portable operational control unit (OCU). The sensor package of the vehicle allows it to avoid obstacles along a pre-determined path, and communicate with other vehicles and the operator. It can autonomously follow a guide-foot soldier or a guide vehicle in follow-me mode.
The cameras on the front and rear of the AvantGuard are mounted on an omni-directional pedestal. It uses three control levels of differential GPS (DGPS) for the navigation.
The AvantGuard can be fitted with non-lethal weapons systems or remotely operated weapon systems. It can carry a remote-controlled ORCWS with a 7.62mm 95kg weapons station.
The AvantGuard has four wheel stations on either side of the vehicle powered by Kubota V3800DI-T four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The engine generates a maximum power of 100hp. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 20km/h (12mph). It has a ground clearance of 14in and track footprint of 36in long and 16.5in wide. The vehicle has no chains or gears and incorporates hydrostatic drivers and has a zero turning ratio.