USMC looks at unmanned cargo options
Oshkosh Defense has announced that the US Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) has recently conducted the marines’ first-ever training of multiple unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) in a single convoy using the Oshkosh TerraMax UGV technology.
The Marines then evaluated the UGVs to determine how they can be utilised to support real-world ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’ missions, the company said in a 6 August 2012 statement.
According to the company, these most recent developments are a continuation of the MCWL’s Cargo UGV initiative, which uses Oshkosh Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVR) equipped with the TerraMax UGV technology, and took place during the MCWL’s Enhanced MAGTF Operations (EMO) Limited Objective Experiment (LOE) 2.2 in July-August. EMO LOE 2.2 sought to evaluate technologies and capabilities being developed for future missions.
Oshkosh said that combat-veteran marines were trained on the Oshkosh UGV technology for the first time in August 2011 and also assessed it in a series of tests in challenging terrain and environments. Following that successful evaluation, Oshkosh delivered a second TerraMax-equipped MTVR earlier this year, and in June the government evaluated two Oshkosh UGVs operating in concert with a manned command-and-control vehicle.
The company said that several key tasks were accomplished, including one operator supervising the operation of two unmanned MTVRs in convoy operations; vehicles operated successfully in complete blackout mode during night operations with no degradation in performance; and vehicles navigated a wide range of terrain, including deep sand trails, clay roads with encroaching vegetation, two-track trails overgrown with grass and narrow creek crossings, and adjusted speeds to maintain proper intra-vehicle spacing.
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