European Defence Agency ploughs millions into autonomy for combat UGVs
The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched its largest research and technology project to develop highly autonomous combat UGVs.
The Combat Unmanned Ground Systems (CUGS) has a budget of €35.5 million ($37.99 million) and brings together nine member states and 28 industry partners.
Over 36 months, CUGS will define, design and develop a set of functional modules mounted to existing platforms. In its final stages, the project will test full demonstrators of highly autonomous combat UGVs.
The modules developed will support autonomous navigation, C2, communications, and the use of weapons systems.
The five platforms will be adapted in parallel with the development of the modules.
Italy leads CUGS. Other partners include Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Norway.
Leonardo will head up the industrial consortium. The remainder comprises John Cockerill Defence, FN Herstal and the Royal Military Academy of Belgium, Diehl Defence, KMW, MBDA and Rheinmetall of Germany, Milrem Robotics, Estonia and the Estonian Military Academy, Patria and Bittium of Finland, Nexter, Safran, Thales, MBDA and Arquus of France, TNO, Demcon and NCIM of the Netherlands, Kongsberg and FFI of Norway, and WAT, PIAP, ZMT and ASW of Poland.
UGVs can reduce the danger presented to humans, and the EDA expects systems of these kinds to play an increased role in armed forces moving forward.
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