German defense technology company Rheinmetall has unveiled an armed member of its Mission Master autonomous – unmanned ground vehicle (A-UGV) family.
Dubbed Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance, the new UGV is fitted with intelligence-gathering technology and a Rheinmetall Fieldranger remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS). The new Armed Reconnaissance module is designed to collect tactical intelligence in the area of operations while providing frontline fire support whenever necessary.
The company says the Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance is designed to execute high-risk scouting missions and deliver a real-time common operating picture without putting soldiers in danger. Its payload consists of long-range EO/IR sensors, a surveillance radar, a 360° full ring camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator to identify potential threats. To further enhance the line of sight for the sensors while keeping a concealed posture, the reconnaissance payload is installed on a 3.5-metre expandable mast with a tilting mechanism.
The Fieldranger Light 7.62 mm RCWS provides much more firepower than the usual man-carried section weapon.
Completing the Wolf Pack
The addition of the Armed Reconnaissance to the Mission Master suite turns Rheinmetall’s groundbreaking Wolf Pack concept into a reality. The Wolf Pack consists of multiple Mission Master vehicles operating as a team in order to accomplish missions of all types, including zone surveillance, reconnaissance, target position transfer and slew-to-cue. All units communicate with each other and use artificial intelligence to maintain the total situational awareness necessary for carrying out their missions.
Other vehicles in the Mission Master family include the cargo module, which can carry over half a ton of supplies. The fire support modules boost the combat power of dismounted units, while the rescue module autonomously evacuates casualties and carries specialized equipment for medical interventions in the field. In addition, every single module is equipped with a Blue Force tracking system that is fully compatible with NATO standards.
Like all members of the Mission Master family, the Armed Reconnaissance version is already networked to the Argus soldier system and Rheinmetall Command and Control Software.