SOF Week 2023: US Marines will test Rheinmetall Mission Master SP UGV
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has been seeking autonomous and robotic ground capabilities to be operated by its soldiers worldwide and will test the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP UGV.
Speaking to Shephard, Louis Harnois, director of business development at Rheinmetall Canada, explained that the USMC has witnessed demonstrations of the system and will conduct trials with the vehicle this summer.
‘The USMC will test MM SP during the Exercise Talisman Sabre in Australia in July-Aug 23. They will also conduct autonomous convoying at 29 Palms (California) in late October,’ Harnois noted.
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The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP is a low-profile autonomous UGV (A-UGV) engineered to provide assistance and reduce danger to dismounted soldiers in a range of missions, including high-risk situations. Its low-signature electric motor enables deployment in scenarios requiring stealth and agility.
Built for forward and last-mile resupply missions, silent watch operations and carriage of light payloads, it is a compact and highly mobile platforms.
The SP system is part of Rheinmetall Mission Master family of UGVs. These vehicles were built to be modular and fulfil a range of logistics and battlefield support roles, including battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance, communication relay, fire support, CBRN detection, cargo carrier and medical evacuation.
Each variant of the Mission Master can work with the others and exchange data. Harnois pointed that those platforms provide several operational advantages to SOF teams such as stealth and silent manoeuvrer, amphibious capability, advanced autonomy features and easy transportability.
All Mission Master modules are designed to be quickly and easily interchanged and come preconfigured on a sturdy plate, ready to be bolted and plugged into the base platform within minutes.
The UGVs of this family are driven by the Rheinmetall PATH autonomy kit (A-kit), which enables AI-powered autonomous driving and navigation in a variety of modes.
Other Mission Master variants include the XT (engineered to carry heavy payloads) and the CXT (designed to accompany troops in challenging environments) variants.
Apart from the USMC, other US services have also evaluated Mission Master platforms. The USSOCOM has conducted trials involving personnel from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) while five US Army bases have received 10 SP UGVs to perform exercises in subterranean and GPS-denied environments.
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