The German industrial group Rheinmetall has presented its new Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance System.
According to the company, the Mission Master Autonomous – Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) family has just gained a new member: the Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance. Equipped with information gathering technology and a remote-controlled Rheinmetall Fieldranger weapon station (RCWS), the new armed reconnaissance module was developed to collect tactical information in the operational area and to provide fire support on the front lines if necessary.
Autonomous robotic vehicles offer innumerable advantages, also in the context of reconnaissance.
The Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance was developed to carry out high risk scouting missions and provide a common operational picture in real time without putting the soldiers in danger. Since an enormous volume of data is collected in missions of this kind, the new A-UGV from Rheinmetall is equipped with resilient, highly reliable systems. The payload consists of long range EO / IR sensors, surveillance radar, 360 ° full ring camera, laser range finder and laser marker to identify potential threats. To further improve the line of sight for the sensors while maintaining a hidden position, the reconnaissance payload is installed on an expandable 3.5 meter mast with a tilting mechanism. This practical function enables improved and safe portability on any platform, including a CH-53 or CH-47 Chinook.
The Armed Reconnaissance module also has a radio-independent architecture so it can accommodate any type of radio that customers need. The bidirectional communication system enables a clear exchange with the headquarters and other A-UGVs, which gives the commanders a better awareness of the situation. When attacking enemy forces, the Rheinmetall Fieldranger Light 7.62mm RCWS offers much more firepower than the usual human-carried weapon. The engagement of targets is remote controlled and never autonomous.
As with the other modules in the Mission Master family, the armed reconnaissance owes its autonomous functions to the autonomous Rheinmetall PATH-Kit (A-Kit). Proven, agnostic, trustworthy and highly autonomous. PATH was developed to enable military vehicles to operate unmanned, to release soldiers for other tasks and to protect them from immediate danger. The A-Kit offers the Mission Master a variety of teleoperation options, including a tablet, smartwatch, soldier system, and one-handed controller. These devices allow full access to advanced PATH functions such as follow-me, convoy and autonomous navigation modes. Each control mode has multiple layers of protection to ensure that the vehicle operates safely at all times. In addition, Rheinmetall strives to keep a man up to date in all kinetic situations
The new Armed Reconnaissance Module is the newest member of the modular Mission Master family, widely known for its terrain maneuverability and ability to keep troops safe when they are in danger. The cargo module can transport over half a ton of supplies and relieves the troops who keep them fresh. The fire support modules increase the combat effectiveness of dismounted units, while the rescue module autonomously evacuates victims and carries special equipment for medical interventions on site. In addition, every single module is equipped with a Blue Force tracking system that is fully compliant with NATO standards.
Like all members of the Mission Master family, the armed reconnaissance version is already networked with the Argus soldier system and the Rheinmetall command and control software, which can be installed in each user’s combat management system.
With the addition of armed reconnaissance to the Mission Master Suite, Rheinmetall’s groundbreaking wolf pack concept becomes a reality. The wolf pack is made up of multiple Mission Master vehicles that work efficiently as a team to complete missions of all kinds, including zone surveillance, reconnaissance, target position broadcast and sle-to-cue. All units communicate with each other and use artificial intelligence to maintain the situational awareness necessary to carry out their missions.
As a true force multiplier, the entire wolf pack can be managed by a single operator from anywhere via the LTE network, SATCOM or the military cloud. It’s an intuitive concept that allows one operator – rather than multiple uncoordinated operators – to focus on the overall mission rather than managing all of the tasks of each A-UGV. As Rheinmetall continues to develop new modules for the Mission Master family, the capabilities of the wolf pack will only increase, greatly improving the military’s ability to achieve an overmatch against increasingly capable enemies.