Tuesday, September 6, 2016

US Army scopes unmanned recovery capability

The US Army has issued a Sources Sought notice in response to an identified need for an unmanned recovery vehicle variant of the service's future Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET).
Under the notice the army is looking to identify manufacturers capable of building a robotic platform that can retrieve other UGVs in the small and large class, 0-3,000 lb (1,360 kg) and 3,000-6,000 lb respectively.
The recovery UGV should itself weigh no more than 7,000 lb and be capable of winching, towing and/or carrying a disabled platform; furthermore, if required it should be capable of transporting the recovered vehicle for a distance of two miles to a designated maintenance location.
At present, the army's projected concept of operations (CONOPS) for its UGVs sees them employed in a wide range of roles, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition (ISTAR), explosive ordnance disposal, and logistics support, among others; these will be carried out in a variety of scenarios, spanning peacekeeping missions through to full-spectrum warfare.
The service's concern is that the current practice for recovering UGVs requires personnel to expose themselves to potential dangers while attaching a rope or cable to the stricken vehicle before it is retrieved, for example by a winch.
An unmanned recovery vehicle would enable the army to remove soldiers from harm's way.  more