Rheinmetall has unveiled the latest member of its Mission Master autonomous uncrewed ground vehicle (UGV) family, the Mission Master XT, which features a diesel engine and is designed to operate in extreme terrains.
The Mission Master XT is capable of carrying a 1,000 kg payload over ice and snow, and can operate in sub-zero weather conditions, as well as over sandy, rocky and mountainous terrain.
The diesel-powered engine gives the Mission Master XT a 750km range without refuelling and accompanying lithium-ion batteries allow for six hours of ‘silent watch’ operations.
The UGV also features a continuous tire inflation system that adjusts tire pressure depending on ground conditions. Rheinmetall said the vehicle can also keep moving with holes as big as 2cm in the tires.
It can also be optionally crewed and operated by a human driver using an integrated joystick and emergency seat.
The company said the UGV can also float and swim while carrying its full payload. The system itself weighs 2,217kg.
The UGV is enabled by Rheinmetall PATH, the company’s autonomy kit that allows for autonomous driving and navigation capabilities.
Rheinmetall said the Mission Master XT is compatible ‘with NATO-standard battle management systems’ and can be controlled via a number of systems.
Rheinmetall Canada vice-president of business development and innovation Alain Tremblay said: “The most multifunctional of these is a smart tablet developed by Rheinmetall, which allows the operator to control any Mission Master platform and payload through a single interface, a first for the market,
“For instance, users can monitor camera feeds or direct a weapon station, then quickly program the platform to navigate itself autonomously to a desired location, all from the same device.”
The Mission Master XT also features a unique NATO-standard battle management system (BMS) which allows the UGV to process tactical information.
Rheinmetall said: “The Mission Master XT thus becomes an integral member of the tactical combat team able to share and exchange information from its vehicle and module sensors to improve the team’s common operating picture.
“The BMS also uses information in the network from other contributors to improve its own situational awareness with regard to terrain as well as the location of friendly and enemy forces.”
Rheinmetall added that the BMS would allow the Mission Master XT to operate as part of a wider UGV team in direct support of troops on the ground.
Rheinmetall has renamed the existing Mission Master to Mission Master SP meaning ‘silent partner’, leaving room for the future expansion of the UGV family.