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Australia to get 80 new explosive ordnance disposal robots

Illustration: L3Harris photo of a T4 robotic system.

Australia’s government has signed a A$46 million contract with Queensland’s L3Harris Micreo to manufacture up to 80 explosive ordnance disposal robots (EOD) for Australia’s sailors, soldiers, and aviators.

Equipped with enhanced cameras and sensors, the newly developed robots possess improved capabilities to detect, inspect, and safely neutralize improvised explosive devices and explosive threats.

Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy, said that the cutting-edge technology would prioritize the safety of Australian personnel during field operations, surpassing the existing robots deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

“The government is working closely with Australia’s defence industry, including small-to-medium enterprises as well as the defence primes, to both build defence capability and create local jobs, including in Queensland,” said Minister Conroy.

EOD robots are specialized robotic systems used to handle and neutralize explosive devices. Equipped with remote-controlled operation, cameras, manipulator arms, and sensors, these robots enhance safety by allowing operators to examine and disarm explosives from a safe distance.

EOD robots play a crucial role in minimizing risks and protecting personnel during bomb disposal operations.

The Australian defense ministry did not specify whether the systems will be developed from the scratch or existing models would be adapted to Australian defense forces’ needs. L3Harris already offers T4 and T7 robotic systems suited for EOD operations. The company recently begun deliveries of the T7 to the US Air Force.