Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) has been awarded a £1.5m contract to supply four Mission Adaptable Platform System (MAPS) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Remote Patrol Vehicle (RPV) Experimentation Programme.
The UGVs have been developed by Australian defence technology company Praesidium Global Pty Ltd, which has agreed an exclusive UK and Europe supply arrangement with MCL to initially support Spiral 1 of the RPV programme.
The RPV Experimentation Programme is an MoD Future Capability Group project to determine the future requirements of UGVs through a series of trials. Spiral 1 focuses on four key areas: resupplying platoon soldiers, reducing load burden on soldiers, casualty evacuation and power export for charging and supply of platoon level electrical equipment. The UGVs will be trialled for 90 days over a period of 12 months on a mixture of tracks, off-road and hard surfaces as detailed by UK training standards.
The MAPS UGV, which MCL will supply to the MoD as prime contractor, is a skid steer, six-wheel drive vehicle powered by batteries and a three-cylinder diesel generator - providing efficient power for battery charging and ensuring clean power for digital electronic system support. The generator offers a fully effective recharge with four litres of fuel, while the UGV can carry 100 litres of diesel enabling as much as 20 days of operation. The vehicle is designed to enable generator start and main battery recharging from flat battery condition.
MCL will also solely provide payload solutions for the MAPS UGV in Spiral 1 of the programme, which includes a casualty evacuation solution for two casualties and a medic, as well as a power distribution box for exporting power to equipment.
As part of the contract MCL will deliver user training for its payload solution, covering safe and competent operation as well as terrain level training to enable users to understand the fundamental limit of capabilities.
With a ‘ready for delivery’ date of 16 March 2020, Spiral 1 of the RPV programme will run for up to 12 months.
Shane Knight, Managing Director, MCL, said: “Working with our specialist technology partners, MCL has a proven heritage in integrating and delivering industry-leading capabilities for the UK MoD.
“In support of the RPV Experimentation Programme, our capability is integrated through digital control systems, which will enable the UGVs to communicate with others in the field, while the system is agile, enhances repairability, enables mission efficiency and fosters battlefield resilience. Utilising flexible supply chains can also allow us to control costs and offer significant value for both Praesidium Global and the MoD.”