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DSEI 2021: Pearson teams with Milrem

15th September 2021 - 11:15 GMT | by Christopher F Foss in London

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This Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle is fitted with front-mounted SPR and a Kongsberg remote-controlled turret with 30 mm cannon. (Photo: Milrem Robotics)

UK and Estonian companies blend mine-clearance equipment with combat UGV technology.

Pearson Engineering of the UK has teamed with Milrem Robotics of Estonia to show for the first time a Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) fitted with a Self-Protection Roller (SPR).

The SPR from Pearson is installed at the front of the platform to detonate mines before they come into contact with the RCV.

The SPR is integrated into the Milrem Robotics Type-X RCV via a Pearson Engineering  Vehicle Integration Kit, which allows for a front end attachment (FEA) such as the SPR to be rapidly replaced in the field by other attachments, for example a dozer blade, according to mission requirements.

Type-X RCV has a typical weight of around 12t with a maximum road speed of up to 80km/h (or 50km/h offroad), although combat engineer roles would be undertaken at a much lower speed.

The Type-X RCV is fitted with various intelligent functions including follow me, waypoint navigation and obstacle detection with AI algorithms.

According to the two companies, the integration of the two capabilities marks the first effort to develop market thinking on the future roles of remote-controlled vehicles on the battlefield.

These platforms are deployed by a number of countries but potentially this combination could be used in high threat areas with a master manned platform controlling a number of RCV engineer platforms.

The two companies are also exploring options for the Milrem Robotics THeMIS UGV which has already been purchased by 11 countries including seven NATO members.

THeMIS has already been demonstrated for a wide range of battlefield missions including reconnaissance as well as being fitted with weapons including machine guns, cannon and anti-tank guided missiles.

In addition to showing the Type-X RCV fitted with their SPR, Pearson Engineering is also showing two other recently developed pieces of combat engineer equipment — SLICE and Threat-Pathway.

SLICE is a lightweight interface for its extensive range of FEAs and can be rapidly fitted to a main battle tank, or another platform, to enable it to be fitted with a combat dozer blade, a mine-clearing device or other attachments.

Threat-Pathway has been designed to be rapidly installed on the front of a vehicle in an emergency to rapidly clear surface laid mines when purpose-built platforms are not available.

While it can be removed after use, Threat-Pathway is considered a consumable to be easily replaced. It has been designed to provide full-width surface mine clearance and the independent blade segments can follow ground contours in undulating terrain.

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