Queensland based company Praesidium Global will be supplying four Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to the Australian Army for a 12-month user evaluation trial.
Announcing the news yesterday, Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne said the purchase is part of the Australian Army’s strategy of acquiring and deploying robotics and autonomous systems to support Australian soldiers.
According to the Minister, the Army will fund the purchase of the four Unmanned Ground Vehicles and accessories from Praesidium Global at a total acquisition cost of $2 million.
Praesidium Global offers a range of UGV technologies, including M.A.P.S (Mission Adaptable Platform System), a medium sized semi-autonomous unmanned platform capable of supporting a variety of missions; SCOUT, a small UGV designed specifically for internal carriage in armoured vehicles; and PATHFINDER, the world’s first air-droppable UGV system designed to conduct tasks in denied or non-permissive areas.
Praesidium Global launched its air-deployable UGV in September 2017 at the international Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London.
Minister Pyne said the purchase was an excellent example of Defence supporting Australian sovereign defence industry.
“We are committed to building stronger relationships with defence industry and encouraging new innovative technology,” Minister Pyne said.
The Unmanned Ground Vehicles will be used by the Army to support a 12-month user evaluation trial within the 2018–19 financial year.
“Unmanned Ground Vehicles will enhance the Army’s capability through assisting our soldiers with a range of manual handling tasks, such as moving heavy loads and field equipment, and casualty evacuations,” Minister Pyne said.
“During the trial, the Army will continue to explore the utility of robotics and autonomous systems and develop an understanding of how they can be best employed to support our soldiers.”