European briefs

U.K. team to build explosives-disposal unmanned ground vehicle

The Remotec subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp. in Whitley, England, is teaming with QinetiQ in Farnborough, England, to build the Cutlass bomb-disposal unmanned ground vehicle. Remotec and team member QinetiQ have been appointed prime contractor for Phase II of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD) Cutlass robotics program, which will provide the next generation of unmanned ground vehicle for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) for antiterrorism operations worldwide. The bulk of deliveries will take place in 2010. The Cutlass system offers modular technology that enables bomb-disposal experts to deal with military and improvised explosive devices. Its large and rugged design can accommodate a wide range of payloads, sensors, and tools. The Cutlass manipulator arm has a gripper and nine degrees of freedom to operate inside limited spaces, such as the interior of a car. The robot is able to creep along slowly for delicate operations and may accelerate quickly. The six-wheeled design offers mobility on all types of hard and soft terrain and in all weather conditions. QinetiQ is providing the vehicle command-and-control systems. QinetiQ’s operator command console will combine manual commands with software to provide functionality.

Elbit to supply unmanned turrets and electro-optic systems for Belgian armored infantry vehicle

Elbit Systems Ltd. in Haifa, Israel, won a contract to supply unmanned turrets and electro-optic systems for the Belgian Armored Infantry Vehicle Program. The contract, worth 44.8 million Euros, or about $58 million, is part of a cooperative agreement between Elbit and the Swiss company Mowag of the General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems Group. Mowag is prime contractor for the Piranha III vehicle program, which consists of 138 vehicles out of a potential total of 242 vehicles. Elbit will provide 30 mm unmanned turrets and various electro-optic and electronic subsystems. Elbit will finish deliveries by 2012. “The selection of our systems constitutes a breakthrough in an emerging international market emanating from a shift in the modern battlefield,” says Joseph Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems. For more information contact Elbit online at www.elbitsystems.com.


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