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Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category

SOF Week 24 – DefendTex Banshee

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

During the 2022 Land Forces conference in Australia we have you a sneak preview of the Banshee Land Autonomous Munitions Platform. At this year’s SOF Week, manufacturer DefendTex has unveiled the production version.

The Banshee is an Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle which serves a a platform for ISR, anti-tank and Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2/AD) missions. It offers a top speed 100 km/h top speed with a 30km range.

Although it’s not as sleek as the prototype, it is certainly a rigged, functional design which will accept a variety of mission payloads.

Milrem Robotics Awarded Contract to Deliver THeMIS UGVs to Japan

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

Milrem Robotics, Europe’s leading robotics and autonomous systems developer, has been awarded a contract to supply the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces with THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles.

The company will supply Japan with three THeMIS UGVs configured for various tasks, including supply transportation and intelligence gathering. The vehicles are equipped with Milrem’s Intelligent Functions Kit (MIFIK), enabling them to execute on- and off-road operations independently. MIFIK allows UGV operators to plan missions using waypoint navigation and set en-route vehicle behaviours.

MIFIK is used strictly for vehicle mobility.

“The goal of the Ground Self-Defense Forces is to fundamentally strengthen its defence capabilities with unmanned assets in order to gain asymmetric superiority while limiting human losses. A task to which UGVs are uniquely qualified,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

“We are honoured that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces has selected us to support them in increasing thecombat effectiveness of their ground forces through advanced robotics and achieving their capability goals,” he added.

THeMIS UGVs were selected by the Japan Ministry of Defense as a target of the newly introduced Rapid Acquisition Program. Milrem Robotics will provide maximum support for Japan to be equipped as soon as possible.

In addition, THeMIS UGVs were chosen because they utilise cutting-edge technology and have already been adopted in 16 countries, including eight NATO countries: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US. THeMIS UGVs are also assisting Ukrainian soldiers in the war with Russia.

It is expected that THeMIS UGVs will provide new ways to keep more soldiers safe and make operations more efficient for the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Rheinmetall to Supply Japan with its First Fleet of Autonomous Vehicles

Monday, April 8th, 2024

Rheinmetall paves the way for autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) in Japan after being awarded a multimillion-dollar contract on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Defence. 
The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP UGVs are expected to be delivered early next year for testing. These compact, low-signature electric UGVs will each be equipped with different payload modules, including cargo, surveillance and a remote-controlled weapon station. The contract also includes a long-term support and training program, as well as spare parts.  

Rheinmetall will deliver the UGVs in collaboration with the prime contractor Marubeni Aerospace, a major Japanese business conglomerate that will be trained by Rheinmetall to offer local support to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. 

Rheinmetall Mission Master SP

The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP is a fully electric, compact UGV that is designed to autonomously carry out missions such as forward and last mile resupply missions, silent watch operations, and carriages of light payloads, including section sensors and weapon systems. The vehicle can be towed or deployed by parachute to carry out missions in hard-to-reach terrain, and fitted with tracks to enhance mobility in deep snow and mud—an ideal feature for countries with extreme climates like Japan.

The Mission Master SP was the first UGV to be developed by Rheinmetall Canada in 2017 and has since been deployed during multiple live military exercises by land forces, including the German, USA, Royal Dutch, and Polish armies. Various NATO partners, such as the UK and the USA have also acquired this UGV.

Autonomous solutions for the modern battlefield

Like other platforms in the Rheinmetall Mission Master family, the SP vehicle is driven by Rheinmetall PATH: an AI-powered navigation system that can be installed on any vehicle. This agnostic suite of advanced sensors and perception algorithms enables the Mission Master vehicles to navigate autonomously through challenging environments.

“As international tensions continue to rise, more and more countries are seeking autonomous solutions to maintain a competitive advantage and prepare for the modern battlefield. Our Mission Master vehicles equipped with our PATH A-kit have performed well in numerous international trials in recent years. These experiences have allowed us to refine our technology and become an internationally renowned centre of excellence for UGVs” recounts Pietro Mazzei, President and CEO at Rheinmetall Canada.

To find out more about the Rheinmetall Mission Master family of UGVs, visit rheinmetall.com

Transforming DOD: PC-C4 Prepares for the Future Battlefield

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — On the beaches, oceans, air and deserts of the U.S. West Coast, more than 4,000 members of the joint force, civilians, contractors, and militaries from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and Japan experimented with more than 200 technologies in the Army’s largest experiment in the dirt, Project Convergence Capstone 4.

Two phases, primarily conducted in California at Camp Pendleton and the National Training Center, allowed experimenters to work in arduous conditions and experiment with cutting-edge technology in as close to a real-world environment as possible. Distant locations also supported the experiment up and down the West Coast and the Pacific region to experiment through time, distance and complexity.

Technology getting to PC-C4 itself takes time and goes through a review process designed to save PC-C4 time and money by ensuring only the most promising technologies make their way to the capstone experiment. All technology at PC-C4 could fill a potential gap or provide a capability designated as necessary by senior leaders. Nascent technologies go through the Science Technology and Review Board before spending time at a myriad of other experiments and lab-based risk reduction activities, all before they ever make their way to NTC or Camp Pendleton.

“There are plenty of technologies we find out aren’t mature enough or don’t fill a gap or capability the way we thought, so they get withdrawn way before Capstone 4 takes place,” said Mindy Gabbert, experiment division chief at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

Not only does this scrutiny save money and time once the experiment begins at PC-C4, but it also ensures that all players involved in putting on PC-C4 already have working relationships.

“It’s not just a yes or no process. It’s going through those prior risk reduction activities that allows the broader community to see those technologies and just to be familiar with them before they get here so that they can properly fit them into the exercise, so that they can make sure that we are aligning them with the right use cases and the other right opportunities out here,” Gabbert said. “So, in addition to the technical aspects of those technologies, it’s just building that knowledge base within the community of what’s out there and bridges that community by building the whole body of knowledge we’re all working on.”

Since 2020, Project Convergence (PC) has grown exponentially in scale and scope. PC-C4 was the largest PC experiment yet, with participation from the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and multinational partners.

“The first PC was conducted in 2020. It was Army only and focused on a specific time between the identification of a target and an effector shooting on that target,” said Lt. Gen. Ross Coffman, United States Army Futures Command deputy commanding general. “And from there, we decided the Army will never fight alone, so let’s get the entire joint force focused on this problem set.”

“This year, we have increased the threat envelope to 10 times what we did last year. With the entire joint force and our U.K. and Australian teammates and allies, we were able to effectively move data for the first time in an Indo-Pacific scenario at a magnitude we’ve never seen before,” Coffman said.

PC-C4 informed combined, joint all-domain situational awareness, command and control, integrated offensive and defensive fires, defeat large target array, human machine integration and how to sustain the force over large-scale combat operations, dubbed contested logistics.

One of the significant successes of PC-C4 was the integration of sensors and fires to ensure that the force is best able to stop incoming missiles without depleting munitions unnecessarily. Coffman explained that they used offensive and defensive fires to tackle the problem and ensure that sensors have interoperability between the branches to ensure the right sensors pick up the threat and the right shooter takes it out, so the military does not waste munitions.

“It’s not our job to go fill up the magazines to the level we’d like them to be, but it is our job to ensure that we can connect my sensors to his fires and his sensors to my fires because I might have the most available weapon where he’s got the most survivable sensor and vice versa,” said Vice Adm. Michael Boyle, Third Fleet commander. “And that’s really what this is about; it’s enabling us to pick from whatever magazine we need.”

Another major win for PC-C4 was the increased ability to push data through a fully networked command, control and communications system. This allowed for more significant amounts of data to be pushed to the Joint and Allied forces.

“When you put stress on untested equipment, you’re going to learn things,” Coffman said. “One of the interesting things is that as we increase the pipe on this cross, it worked magnificently. It could pass a large amount of data that we had not seen before we tested it last year, and we could see it was nascent. We were able to pass data successfully.”

Great strides in contested logistics experiments also took place across both phases. Experiments involving beach landings, drones and printing technology were showcased, and for the first time, a repair part for an Army system was printed out at sea on a Navy vessel.

“Envision the printer was on the vessel,” said Col. Shane Upton, director of the Contested Logistics Cross-Functional Team. “They printed the part, we put it on an unmarried unmanned aerial system, a drone, and flew it onto the beach to the point of need. In a contested environment where you don’t have a permissive flow of sustainment, you’ve got to use some of these exquisite technologies. That’s why we’re experimenting with them.”

Now that PC-C4 has wrapped up after several weeks of experimentation, the data collected will be analyzed to inform future acquisition and force structure decisions and aggressively advance and integrate Army contributions to the Joint and Combined fight.

“It’s worth every penny,” Coffman said of the experiment. “The readiness of the joint force and the partnership with our allies is invaluable. When called upon, the women and men of this nation and the women and men of other nations will fight side by side to preserve liberty, and that cost is worth every penny.”

By Matthew Murch, Futures and Concepts Center

American Rheinmetall Vehicles Conducts Live-Fire Demo and Continues to Deliver Autonomous Ground Vehicles to the U.S. Marine Corps for Testing, Training, and Deployment

Friday, March 15th, 2024

American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) and Rheinmetall Canada have successfully conducted a live-fire capability demonstration for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) in Fort Clinton, Ohio to highlight the unique capabilities of the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP autonomous, unmanned ground vehicle (A-UGV) paired with the Fieldranger Remotely Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS). This armed variant of the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP provides Marines a variety of remote operated capabilities including armed reconnaisance, sentry over watch, fire support, flank security, screening capability, and more. Having completed numerous test and evaluation events with the Mission Master SP, American Rheinmetall Vehicles continues to deliver ground-breaking advancements in A-UGV systems to the USMC. It first made deliveries to the USMC in early 2023, and several follow-on orders for A-UGVs are proceeding in 2024. The platforms have the potential to substantially enhance the way Marines fight. 


Mission Master SPs furnished by American Rheinmetall Vehicles were also extensively tested by the USMC during the Talisman Sabre Exercise (TS23) in Queensland, Australia, in summer 2023 and as part of the Apollo Shield exercise at Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, California, in fall 2023, both in support of Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) evaluations. The Mission Master SPs’ participation supported MCWL’s one year, crawl-walk-run, bilateral effort to test equipment capabilities and evaluate tactics, techniques, and procedures of Infantry squads equipped with A-UGVs. Tasks the Mission Master SP A-UGVs took on during the exercises included casualty evacuations (CASEVAC), resupply missions, fully autonomous road marches reaching ranges up to 50 kilometers, and operating in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) environments. Feedback from the Marines and their Commanders drove A-UGV design modifications and solidified the benefits of A-UGVs among Marines.

In December 2023, American Rheinmetall Vehicles received an order to manufacture and deliver six Mission Master SPs which are slated for delivery to III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to support further training and evaluation. Four of the Mission Master SPs will support 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, who will be the first unit to conduct pre-deployment work-ups and deploy with the A-UGVs.


“Bringing the capabilities of the Mission Master SP A-UGV to today‘s Marines gives me great pride in knowing that lives will be saved and Marines will be better prepared for battle,“ said Mike Brooks, Gunner (CW05) USMC Ret., and Director of Business Development for American Rheinmetall Vehicles. 

“MCWL’s experimentation with state-of-the-art autonomous systems exemplifies our commitment to harnessing innovative technologies that enhance our tactical capabilities, ensuring our Marines are better equipped, more agile, and always a step ahead on the battlefield,” stated Maj Steven Atkinson, Robotics & Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Branch Head for the Science and Technology Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. 

Rheinmetall PATH A-kit: A platform-agnostic, next-generation system that brings autonomous mobility to any vehicle 

Each of Rheinmetall’s Mission Master SP A-UGVs uses the Rheinmetall PATH autonomy kit (A-kit), a navigation system developed by Rheinmetall Canada that enables fully autonomous movement and mission planning for vehicles. It can be rapidly added onto existing legacy vehicles or integrated into the latest next-generation platforms. It is a core element of Rheinmetall’s exceptional Mission Master family of autonomous vehicles and combines advanced sensors, technology leading algorithms, and real-time data analysis to allow vehicle platforms to maneuver autonomously in a wide range of operating environments. Fielded and tested on this family of vehicles, but also a wide array of other platforms, the PATH A-kit is a mature, proven technology that stands out from the competition providing a high degree of autonomous mobility. 

American Rheinmetall Vehicles is leveraging the PATH A-kit technology to supply program specific vehicle solutions for the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck program and XM30 program. 
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www.rheinmetall.com/arv 

Unmanned and Unmatched.

Persistent Systems Integrates with General Robotics PITBULL

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

A team from Persistent Systems recently traveled to SIG SAUER’s General Robotics to conduct further integration testing on their various Remote Controlled Weapon Station systems.

At the event, the team successfully used the MPU5 to establish a robust network with PITBULL, the advanced ultralight RCWS platform and provide users with enhanced situational awareness.

Navy Pins First Robotics Warfare Specialist

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, and the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy Division (N13) Director, Rear Adm. Jim Waters, pinned Master Chief Christopher Rambert as the Navy’s first Robotics Warfare Specialist during an office call at Naval Support Facility Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 27, 2024.

The rating insignia reveal followed the U.S. Navy’s announcement in NAVADMIN 036/24, establishing the branch’s enlisted career field for operators, maintainers, and managers of robotic and autonomous systems.

The establishment of the RW rating underpins the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti’s plans for building and developing “a team who has the reps and sets in sensors, platform autonomy, and mission autonomy programs, and can provide input in machine-learning feedback processes,” a priority she discussed in her keynote address at the WEST 2024 naval conference.

Although Rambert is the first Sailor to don the new RW uniform rating badge, the development of the Navy robotics warfare community represents years of effort.

“It’s a proud moment to see all the hard work that’s gone into developing this badge, and just seeing it finally get codified and brought to life – to me, it signifies the hard work of the people around me,” Rambert said.

From research and analysis to organizing working groups and designating individual subject matter experts, Sailors and Navy civilian employees have been working behind the scenes on creating the Robotics Warfare Specialist career field for more than three years.

Its founding has distinguished the Navy as the first Department of Defense branch to establish a dedicated enlisted workforce specialized in unmanned and autonomous technology.

“The RW rating is a major milestone in our Navy’s relentless march to achieve a truly hybrid Fleet,” Cheeseman penned in NAVADMIN 036/24.

According to Rambert, the DoD’s hybrid force framework is a force multiplier, allowing Sailors to develop seasoned experience across the rating’s multiple domains – subsurface, surface, air, and ground platforms.

With a background as an aviation electrician’s mate, Rambert spoke to the tactical advantages that will come with the new rating’s initial cadre – and the growing opportunity for future RW Sailors.

“You get the opportunity to go to so many different places,” Rambert said. “If you look across the spectrum of the entire Navy, you’ve got Sailors that have the potential to really touch every single domain out there and that’s very rare.”

Rambert has served as the Navy’s sole Robotics Enlisted Community Manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel since October 2023.

“It’s really an awesome feeling to be the first one to represent the rating,” Rambert said. “And to see this rating finally come to fruition, you can see the level of excitement, and passion from the other Sailors that are out there.”

Eligibility and Application

The initial selection of Sailors for RW conversions will consist primarily of active-duty Sailors currently holding robotics-related Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes. Sailors currently or previously assigned to billets in unmanned vehicle divisions are primed for selection.

Active-duty E-4 to E-9 Sailors who meet the above criteria can apply by submitting a NAVPERS 1306/7 Electronic Personnel Action Request (EPAR) form to BUPERS-328 or BUPERS-352 (SELRES).

The Navy’s Fact Sheet focused on RW Conversion Opportunity provides further details on the specific NECs, ASVAB scores, and background requirements for applicants: www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55

Rambert described the sought-after characteristics of RW candidates as being driven, adaptable, and motivated to become masters of the craft.

“They have to have [the] drive to want to be a part of something that might not be entirely defined by policy,” Rambert said. “They need to be passionate about what they do because what they’re learning now and the lessons learned that we take to the table later can have huge effects on the success of the rating as we progress into the future.”

Rating Symbol Design

Originally designed by Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate McLean Monaghan, the RW rating symbol comprises an airplane propeller and lightning bolt crossed over a treaded wheel, all layered over a single wave. Each element represents a domain that U.S. Navy Robotics Warfare Specialists are expected to operate in to support the mission of the DoD:
· Airplane Propeller – Aerial Systems
· Lightning Bolt – The Electromagnetic Spectrum
· Treaded Wheel – Ground Systems
· Wave – Surface and Subsurface Systems

For information regarding the application process, visit the RW enlisted community management page on the MyNavy HR website at: www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/Community-Management/Enlisted/Robotics-Warfare

For more news from the Chief of Naval Personnel, follow MyNavy HR on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and YouTube, or visit www.navy.mil/cnp

Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeanette Mullinax 

Chief of Naval Personnel

Marine Corps and Army Assess South Korean UGV, Eyeing Future Capabilities

Friday, February 9th, 2024

Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Hawaii —

In a strategic move meant to advance Force Design’s shift to the INDOPACOM Area of Responsibility, the Marine Corps partnered with partners from the U.S. Army and the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea to test cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology—taking a significant step towards modernizing its advanced logistics capabilities.

In mid-December, against the picturesque backdrop of Honolulu, Hawaii, Marines from the 3d Littoral Logistics Battalion, or LLB, engaged in a pivotal Foreign Comparative Test, or FCT, of a South Korean Unmanned Ground Vehicle, or UGV, prototype—marking a critical juncture in the Corps’ exploration of advanced unmanned technologies.

This two-week test, the culmination of a collaborative partnership between Marine Corps Systems Command, III MEF, the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center and its South Korean allies, demonstrated the commitment to advancing military capabilities.

Key to advancing military capabilities, FTC programs allow the acquisition community to evaluate high-readiness technologies from foreign allies to quickly and economically meet defense needs. FCT stands out by offering substantial savings, bypassing research and development expenses, reducing procurement costs, and accelerating the deployment of critical equipment. This approach not only minimizes risk but also enhances the operational readiness and safety of U.S. forces.

The FCT of the South Korean UGV prototype in Honolulu is a significant milestone in the Marine Corps’ journey towards embracing unmanned technologies. This test, rooted in the principles of Force Design, and the ever-evolving realities of contested logistics, has the potential to shape the future of Marine Corps logistics operations.

“The use of autonomy directly supports Force Design, as the emphasis on smaller operational units means personnel have to do more,” David Keeler, MARCORSYSCOM’s advanced technology integrator for the Logistics Combat Element Systems portfolio and project lead for the effort. “UGVs can supplement tactical vehicle operations since they are highly transportable, can be moved to points of need quickly and don’t require licensed operators.”

As modern warfare continues to evolve, the need for efficient, autonomous logistics solutions becomes increasingly vital—especially as the warfighter is called upon to operate within contested environments. Here, the UGV’s potential to operate effectively in such scenarios stand to revolutionize how the Marine Corps approaches logistics, a critical component of warfare.

“If you look at the war between Russia and Ukraine, you see each side is going after each other’s logistics support. That’s contested logistics,” explained MARCORSYSCOM’s International Affairs Specialist Steve Duong. “What you don’t want is a big platform with a big signature transporting something like a tire or ammo back and forth because it can easily be identified by enemy sensors. A capability like this can help Marines with their logistics while operating in dangerous environments.”

Foreign Technology as a Force Multiplier

The test’s primary goal was to evaluate the UGV’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. The selection of the South Korean UGV prototype represents a leap in technological advancement, attributed to its maturity in utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to complete its mission.

“When we first started planning this effort, this was the most mature vehicle that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to complete its mission,” noted Durgadath Nanan, III MEF science advisor, emphasizing the importance of these capabilities in current and future military operations. “This is an opportunity to get access to foreign expertise. Because, you know, we have great scientists, engineers and companies in the States, but that doesn’t mean we have the most advanced capabilities in all areas.”

This FCT is more than just an evaluation of a new vehicle; it’s a foray into a future where unmanned systems play a crucial role in military operations. The success of this test could lead to a transformative shift in how the Marine Corps conducts logistics, particularly in contested environments.

“Allied technology can provide tremendous benefits for not only the Marines and the DoD, but also to the vendors,” said Keeler. “Our vendors and allies get insight to our requirements and how their technology may be employed. Most importantly, it gives the vendors direct feedback and input from our warfighters so they can further refine and mature their technology.”

Joint Collaborative Effort

Keeler repeatedly emphasized the project’s foundation on innovative military technology and collaboration between Joint Forces and Allies. He acknowledged USMC’s International Programs Office for securing funding for the FCT from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and providing program support during the test cycle in Hawaii.

Nanan, a science advisor for the Office of Naval Research stationed at III MEF, played a crucial role as the liaison, ensuring ONR’s research align with Fleet requirements.

“We make sure that the R&D at ONR is working on requirements of the Fleet, not only short-term but longer-term,” Nanan said.

In Detroit, Michigan, DEVCOM’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) was instrumental in planning and executing the testing for the UGV project.

Jason Bagnall, GVSC electrical engineer and UGV FCT test lead, described GVSC’s involvement, saying, “GVSC’s robotics group has expertise in UGVs design, integration, and testing, leading the USMC to seek our independent evaluation of the South Korean UGV prototype.” He added, “GVSC developed the test plan, coordinated onsite activities, and will publish a report on the platform’s suitability.”

Ultimately, the project highlights the Corps’ commitment to international collaboration and innovation. As Keeler noted, “The FCT has been a great tool for LCES. It’s given us the opportunity to generate data to inform requirements, make procurement considerations, and build relations with allied governments and businesses.”

Feedback from the Fleet

The collaboration with 3d LLB Marines in testing and operating the UGV was a pivotal aspect of the project. Their direct, hands-on experience with the vehicle provided invaluable real-world data, shedding light on the vehicle’s performance, especially its sophisticated AI and machine learning capabilities. This practical insight from those with frontline experience was critical to understand the real-world applications of the technology.

Bagnall emphasized the importance of this partnership, further highlighting the importance of obtaining feedback from the fleet.

“Our in-house engineers and commercial/academic partners are some of the best in the business,” he said. “That said, most of our engineers have never served in uniform, have never experienced combat. When a mission is completely understood, and the doctrine well-established, it’s often possible for the user community to deliver really good requirement sets for tech developers to work from.”

Defining Future Requirements

Another critical aspect of this test is the defining of requirements for future unmanned ground vehicles. As Duong pointed out, “It is the major function of this test to help define requirements for unmanned ground vehicles, for which we currently don’t have a program of record.”

This endeavor aligns with the broader goals of the Corps to integrate more unmanned systems into their operations, as envisioned in Force Design.

“I have conducted a few different FCTs, each evaluating different technologies–from medical, to mine clearance, and now autonomy and UGVs,” said Keeler. “In each case we were evaluating an allied technology that either could close a capability gap, enhance existing capabilities, or provide a new capability.”

Keeler noted, if the FCT has good results, further evaluation in operational environments may be considered, followed by a decision to procure the technology.

The Broader Perspective and International Collaboration

The test also highlighted the significance of international collaboration, particularly with South Korea, a key ally in the Indo-Pacific region.

“This program is important as it falls under the security cooperation umbrella,” Duong said, acknowledging the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK mutual defense treaty and its impact on such collaborations.

Nanan encapsulated the transformative potential of testing such advanced technologies, saying, “In testing this vehicle, we’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and confirming our commitment to be technologically advanced. This can change the way we operate and fight, adapting to the evolving nature of warfare as seen in current global conflicts.”

Ultimately, the successful testing of the UGV prototype marks a pivotal advancement in military logistics and unmanned technologies. This collaboration not only showcases the potential of international partnerships in enhancing military capabilities but also sets a new standard for the future of autonomous operations in contested environments.

By Ashley Calingo, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command