The Mission Master unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is produced by Rheinmetall to support multiple mission requirements of troops in difficult terrain conditions.
The UGV is based on the 8×8 Argo all-terrain vehicle platform manufactured by Canadian firm Ontario Drive Gear (ODG). It was first unveiled at the Eurosatory 2018 defence and security exhibition in Paris, France.
Rheinmetall displayed the latest version of the Mission Master autonomous vehicle named Mission Master-Protection at the MPSO 2019 exhibition held in Poland in September 2019.
The Mission Master-Protection variant is armed with the WARMATE loitering munition system supplied by Polish defence company WB GROUP to provide troops with high-precision strike capabilities.
Mission Master UGV allows soldiers to perform various tasks using modular payloads.
Its mission capabilities include surveillance, weapon carrier, target acquisition, overwatch, force protection, reconnaissance, logistic transport, rescue, fire suppression, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection, and medical evacuation.
The unmanned ground vehicle can also be configured as a mobile radio relay station.
Mission Master UGV design and features
Mission Master UGV system comprises a robotic multi-purpose vehicle platform, an integrated subsystem, modular mission payloads, and a command post.
The vehicle features a rugged, all-terrain, fully-amphibious 8×8 chassis, which can be optionally fitted with tracks based on the mission needs.
The vehicle has a length of 2.95m and a base weight of approximately 750kg. Its modular design allows for carriage of 600kg easy-to-install payloads for operations on land, while its payload carrying capacity is reduced to 300kg during amphibious operations.
The armed version of the Mission Master UGV can be fitted with a pair of FZ220 lightweight, composite, seven-tube rocket launchers developed by Thales.
Each launcher weighing 20kg enables firing of 70mm unguided rockets in ripple or single-mode using removable dual-purpose FZ125 detent mechanism. The rockets with different warheads are powered by FZ90 rocket motor.
The launcher can fire both folding-fin aerial rockets and wrap around rockets. It can be optionally armed with FZ275 LGR laser-guided rockets.
The weaponised Mission Master UGV and its command post are also compatible with Qimek single weapon station, Nanuk dual weapon station, Argus soldier system, Fieldranger multi-weapon station, and Vingtaqs II target acquisition system.
Command and control of Mission Master UGV
The vehicle integrates Rheinmetall command and control software (RC2S) to provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, targeting, acquisition, and reconnaissance (C4ISTAR).
Operators at the sensor command post analyse and evaluate real-time data relayed by multiple sensors on-board the UGV.
The Mission Master UGV can be operated in autonomous, semi-autonomous, and remote control modes.
Mission Master-Protection features
The Mission Master-Protection UGV is first of its kind in the world to feature a tube-launched system with a number of WARMATE micro combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The UGV delivers superior combat power in close combat operations, while ensuring the safety of dismounted troops.
The whole system can identify and observe hidden targets on the battlefield before initiating a surgical strike, with risk of minimal collateral damage. It can also be operated out of the line-of-sight.
Both the UGV and UAV are controlled by a mobile ground control station, Rheinmetall Argus soldier system, or the RC2S.
Mission Master UGV performance
The unmanned ground vehicle can achieve a maximum speed of 40km/h on land, while its amphibious speed is 5km/h. Chains can be attached to the tyres in order to improve the vehicle’s off-road mobility.
The UGV can operate for eight hours in battery-powered mode, while its endurance can be increased to more than 24 hours when fitted with a range extender.
It is capable of performing tasks in hard-to-reach areas such as mountains, wooded areas, and built-up zones. The vehicle can also withstand hostile temperatures.