Army Vice Chief Allyn Lists Service’s Robotic Priorities « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary: Future warfare will “place a premium on all types of unmanned systems,” the Army’s vice chief of staff said Wednesday, and Gen. Daniel Allyn told the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International his service has five priority objectives for them.
“First, these systems must increase our situational awareness, going where manned systems cannot, thereby increasing standoff capability and agility for our soldiers and our units,” Allyn said. For that reason, he said, in fiscal 2018 the Army will begin fielding improved General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones, which carry sensors and four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
Today, the Gray Eagle can stay over a target area eight hours at a range of 725 miles from its base, Allyn said. The Improved Gray Eagle, he said, will have “great payload capacity and near triple the range of our existing systems.
Secondly, future unmanned systems for the Army “must lighten soldiers’ physical and cognitive load.” For that reason, he said, the Army is working hard on the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport, a ground robotic vehicle designed to carry a squad’s worth of life support and combat gear (and which got mixed reviews in a recent exercise). The Army is also eager to have a common ground control station for its Gray Eagles and RQ-7 Shadow drones, he added.
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