British Army is displaying progress for the impact of unmanned ground vehicles (UAVs) in modern combat and how they can be used in this combat zone.
Britain clearly has the intention of carrying out researches for the importance of robotics on the battlefield and its impact on defense capabilities. The UK, which has taken a variety of significant steps in terms of UAVs especially in the past few years, has tested many UAVs
4 Milrem Robotics Themis and QinetiQ TITAN UAVs in a training area in Salisbury, England were subjected to detailed tests for 3 weeks by the British Army in 2018
The main goal in these tests was to determine how new unmanned technologies could improve soldiers’ survival and effectiveness in the modern combat zone. It can be understood that through the orders of the UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and agreements signed by the same center, the development of autonomous logistics supply systems and increasing their effectiveness on the battlefield are within the primary goals.
Systems bound by contract by UK
HORIBA MIRA VIKING and QinetiQ TITAN
In line with the demands of the British Land Forces, DSTL signed contracts for two different autonomous UGVs with HORIBA MIRA worth £ 2.3 million and QinetiQ with a £ 2.7 million contract. These contracts were signed within the scope of the Joint Tactical Autonomous Replenishment Risk Reduction project. DSTL, as a part of the process, will test UGVs on behalf of the British Ministry of Defense in cooperation with the British Land Forces, and will look for ways to reduce the risk that the combat soldier is taking for replenishment.
Within the scope of this contract signed with DSTL, it was stipulated that HORIBA MIRA would deliver 3 VIKING autonomous UGVs within the next 6 months. Delivery is expected to take place in the summer of 2020. QinetiQ company is planned to deliver 2 TITAN IKA to DSTL in the last quarter of 2020.
Rheinmetall Mission Master
According to a statement made by Germany-based Rheinmetall Defense on April 16, 2020, the British Armed Forces ordered 4 Rheinmetall Mission Master UGVs.
The 4 UGVs in 4 freight transport configurations, which will be delivered as part of the order placed at the end of 2019, will form part of the UK Robotic Platoon Vehicle program. The program was designed to determine to what extent unmanned ground vehicles can increase infantry units’ combat effectiveness and capabilities at the platoon level.
Milrem Robotics Themis
Estonia-based Milrem Robotics will deliver 2 UGVs to DSTL. Within the scope of this contract, Milrem Robotics will supply the vehicles to DSTL in partnership with QinetiQ.
QinetiQ is the leading defense technology company that will integrate autonomous functions into these vehicles and arrange transfers to the end user. Milrem Robotics also joins JTARR (Joint Tactical Autonomous Resupply and Replenishment) and RPV (Robotic Platoon Vehicle) programs, both of which are the UK’s large-scale robotics programs, in cooperation with QinetiQ.
General Dynamics MUTT
The U.S.-based General Dynamics Land Systems entered a contract with the British Army in 2019 to provide 2 UGVs. As part of the contract, General Dynamics Land Systems delivered 2 fully electric 8 × 8 MUTT (Multi-Utility Tactical Transport) to the British Army in April 2020.
|UGVs ordered by the UK|
|Producer||Vehicle Name||Weight (Blank)||Payload Capacity||Mission Type||Number of Purchase/Order|
|HORIBA MIRA||VIKING||x||800 kg||Logistics / Replenishment||3|
|QinetiQ||TITAN||1630 kg||1200 / 750 kg||Logistics / Replenishment||2|
|Rheinmetall||Mission Master||750 kg||600 kg||Logistics / Replenishment||4|
|Milrem Robotics||Themis||1630 kg||1200 / 750 kg||Logistics / Armed||2|
|General Dynamics||MUTT||1360-1580 kg||545 kg||Logistics / Replenishment||2|
Britain was the first country to use tanks in World War I. These moves of England, which had been carrying out experiments with various prototypes for a long time prior to using the tanks, seem to spearhead a new concept as in the First World War.
European countries, which are late for the operational use and industrial development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are trying to take primary steps for the UGVs. Especially when reviewed in the light of the above mentioned developments, the eagerness of Britain is an issue that draws attention.
It is believed that UGVs will appear in the field in a short and medium term in a coordinated way with manned systems. Nevertheless, given the scenarios that UAVs are prepared for or even used in regular warfare as well as irregular warfare conditions, it can be observed that UGVs instill hope in consideration of developing technology.
Author: Ömer Kara
Translation: Seray Güldane