ST Engineering shows off unmanned teaming with NGAFV
ST Engineering has successfully demonstrated an unmanned and autonomous Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) working along with a Probot UGV and a UAV. The vehicles were unveiled in a video on Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen’s social media outlet following his visit to the ST Engineering facility.
The video showed an NGAFV with a prototype 30mm Adder turret and equipped with light detection and ranging (LiDAR), cameras and GPS antennas ‘engaging’ a FORT robotic target. An unidentified UAV was also seen tethered to the NGAFV, giving the vehicle a ‘bird’s eye view of the battlefield’.
Shephard understands that the three unmanned systems were working and communicating with each other independently of any operator control, and that this was a proof-of-concept demonstration for the minister.
The NGAFV prototype is the predecessor to the recently commissioned Hunter AFV, which the Singapore Army touts as being able to work alongside unmanned systems for greater lethality and survivability. The Hunter is Singapore’s first fully digitised vehicle, and its drive-by-wire and open architecture allow quick integration of unmanned kit.
ST Engineering and the Singapore defence community gained experience with autonomous armoured vehicles as early as 1999, with testing commencing on an M113.
The demonstration also included the Israeli Roboteam Probot weaponised and armed with a 7.62mm machine gun by ST Engineering.
First unveiled at Singapore Air Show 2018, the Probot has an operating control range of 500m and possesses a maximum payload of 700kg. Individually it is controlled from the company’s ruggedised operator control unit, but integration with the NGAFV suggests another level of communication with the armoured vehicle’s autonomous kit.
Roboteam signed a ‘teaming agreement’ with ST Engineering in late 2018.
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