in Defence

Dstl reveals armoured UGV concept study

Posted 20 September 2021 · Add Comment

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has initiated a study into future Uncrewed Ground Vehicle (UGV) concepts to explore cost effective solutions to protect UGVs from threat and provide specific armour and technology that will ensure high levels of mobility, survivability and mission availability to support crewed platforms in battlefield warfare.



Above: Desert epoch XR.
Courtesy Dstl


The work has been carried out in conjunction with a consortium led by RBSL with Prodrive, ARKE, ThinkCreative, Cranfield University and BAE Systems as key partners and was announced last week at the 2021 Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade exhibition.

The concept study has focused on two timescales: the near term which addresses solutions that could be realised using currently available or mature technologies and the longer term looking at technologies that are likely to be available 10 years or further ahead.

The focus has been on medium weight platforms, around two to five tonnes, which have been the subject of a lot of interest due to the useful payloads they can carry.

Dstl’s Matt Ackroyd is the project lead and said: "When Uncrewed Ground Vehicles were first fielded it was usually for dangerous tasks such as deactivating or destroying Improvised Explosive Devices with the goal of removing the operators from harm’s way and accepting the device itself was at risk of damage or destruction.

"As thinking on the use of UGVs evolved the focus moved to so called ‘Dull, Dirty and Dangerous’ tasks such as route proving, contaminated ground reconnaissance and decontamination.

"Today the trend is towards the use of UGVs as platforms for key combat capabilities such as resupply, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance, weapons platforms, decoys and communication nodes.

"Therefore UGVs are becoming core elements of a deployed capability and will be carrying expensive assets. If they are to support missions across the full spectrum of operations they must be able to fully protect and keep station with the crewed platforms they support."

A key challenge of the study has been improving the mobility and survivability of platforms without compromising payload. Further challenges arise from the desire to provide an amphibious capability for river crossing and littoral operations.

In order to meet the demanding, and conflicting requirements, novel modular concepts have been developed which would allow platforms to be configured in theatre to meet specific mission requirements. In order to meet the mobility requirements and enable the smaller UGV platforms to keep station with larger crewed platforms, novel wheel and tracked suspension systems have been designed and modelled.

Matt said: "This is very exciting work. As well as enhancing mobility the novel suspension systems significantly improve the ride and hence improve reliability and provide a stable sensor and weapon platform.

"The use of armour protection for key components and enhanced signature management systems to exploit the benefits of the small platform size have been explored along with weight and cost effective means to provide robustness, redundancy and fall back modes."

The concepts are now being benchmarked against the performance of best in class current UGVs and their operational use explored in synthetic environment based experimentation.
 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Techmodal to be Royal Navy's Digital Service Partner for Data Science

Bristol based applied data science business, Techmodal, has won a two year contract worth up to £8.3 million to become the Royal Navy's Digital Service Programme Partner for Data Science to deliver a scalable, agile data science

BAE Systems welcomes Nottingham University as strategic academic partner

The University of Nottingham and BAE Systems have formalised a strategic partnership which will see the organisations collaborate on developing new and innovative digital manufacturing technologies.

Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin to develop commercial space station

Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, has formed a team to develop the first-ever free flying commercial space station, known as Starlab.

SSTL celebrates 20th Anniversary of CHRIS Hyperspectral Imager

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is today celebrating 20 years of operations in orbit for the CHRIS, the Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer instrument on board the European Space Agency’s PROBA-1 satellite.

ESA selects CGI to develop 5G for UAV positioning

CGI has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a proof of concept to enhance the navigational capabilities of airspace users in areas where traditional navigation systems alone cannot provide sufficient

Babcock completes sale of Frazer-Nash

Babcock International Group plc has announced the completion of the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Frazer-Nash Consultancy Limited.

AdvancedEngin SK2809041121
See us at
RAF Museum BTAdvancedEngin BT2809041121