Sunday, February 25, 2024

Rheinmetall successfully demos unmanned combat vehicle in Sweden

German technology firm Rheinmetall has conducted a successful demonstration of its new unmanned combat vehicle in Sweden. 

As noted by the German weapons maker, Rheinmetall’s Mission Master Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle has once again proved its versatile capabilities in a demonstration conducted for six European allies.

The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP used laser-guided FZ275 rockets from Thales in a live-fire exercise. The demonstration took place at the Trängslet base of the Swedish procurement agency Försvarets Materielverk (FMV) near Älvdalen. Delegations from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Poland were present. The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP is part of the Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) family developed by Rheinmetall Canada.

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The Rheinmetall Mission Master SP – Fire Support was equipped with a Rheinmetall Fieldranger Multi remotely controlled weapon station armed with two seven-tube 70mm rocket launchers from Thales Belgium, an important partner of Rheinmetall. For the demonstration, the A-UGV fired Thales FZ275 70 mm laser-guided rockets (LGRs) at a 4×4 vehicle located 4 km away from the firing point. The FZ275 LGR is the lightest and longest range 70 mm/2.75-inch LGR in its class, delivering metric precision and accuracy, hence providing unfailing fire support to armed forces.

The demonstration marked the culmination of the successful qualification process for the Fieldranger Multi equipped with the Thales 70mm rocket launcher. Previously limited to aircraft, these area saturation and precise strike applications can engage stationary and mobile targets at ranges of up to 7 km with minimal collateral damage. They are now qualified for use with the Mission Master A-UGV. Moreover, this new configuration is now ready to be integrated into other types of platforms and armoured vehicles.

This only represents one of many possible configurations for the Mission Master SP – Fire Support. Featuring a fully modular architecture, this A-UGV can also be equipped with other weapon systems: 12.7 mm calibre machine guns, a Dillon Aero M134D gun, or 40mm grenade launchers.

The demonstration at Trängslet was performed using a secure, customized, remotely controlled tablet operating in a fully digitized scenario. Firing was controlled using Rheinmetall command and control software. Rheinmetall and Thales both stressed the critical importance of the human-in-the-loop configuration, meaning that the operator has complete control of the weapon system from target acquisition to final fire authorization.

 

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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