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UGVs to Actively Assist Security Units in Theater

Within the scope of the Light Class Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) Development Program carried out by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), three different types of domestic light class unmanned ground vehicle prototypes, weighing 1, 3, and 6 kilograms, were developed by four companies. The throwable, light class unmanned ground vehicles which can climb obstacles and perform various tasks with different payloads were designed in line with the demands of the security forces.

Issue 97

Within the scope of the project carried out by the Presidency of Defence Industries to increase and diversify local solutions in the field of unmanned ground vehicles, the qualification tests have been completed for the prototype vehicles which can operate in day-night conditions and can be equipped with various weapons, reconnaissance & surveillance modules and CBRN detectors. Providing information about unmanned ground vehicles developed in various sizes and configurations, President of Defence Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR said: “These vehicles will be little assistants of our security units during cave-clearing, in close quarters, in multi-story buildings, and field operations. We will start the serial production phase after developing the vehicles in line with the needs of our security units. We will continue to work on such projects. We invite everyone interested to present their ideas and designs to us, to participate in our competitions, and to stand by us in this race.”

The unmanned ground vehicles, which were planned to be developed within the scope of the Presidential 100-Day Action Plan, were grouped into three main categories: the light, medium, and heavy classes by the SSB. The light class UGVs were later subcategorized into three different levels. The 1st Level Light Class Throwable Unmanned Ground Vehicles can operate in different environments such as dirt roads, caverns, caves, indoors for day or night reconnaissance & surveillance purposes. The remote-controlled vehicles weigh less than 1 kilogram and can operate silently in closed areas with an operational duration of up to 2 hours.

The 2nd Level Throwable Unmanned Ground Vehicles can carry out pre-operational reconnaissance & surveillance, trap detection, and security operations on dirt roads, caverns, caves, tunnels, residential areas/indoors, and multi-story buildings. The throwable vehicles weigh less than 3 kilograms, can climb stairs (17 cm vertical obstacle climbing, 60% gradient/30% side slope), have adjustable speed control, and can be equipped with reconnaissance & surveillance modules with optical and digital magnification capability. The 2nd Level vehicles can be controlled remotely or can operate in fully autonomous and semi-autonomous modes if necessary. The 3rd Level Unmanned Ground Vehicles, on the other hand, are capable of mapping large areas and buildings/rooms in residential areas to provide decision support before an operation. Weighing less than 6 kilograms, these vehicles can climb stairs and can be equipped with reconnaissance & surveillance, extended surveillance, terrain mapping, and CBRN modules. The vehicles can operate semi-autonomous or can be remote-controlled.

Within the scope of the project, Technology Acquisition Agreements were signed with Altınay, Elektroland Defence, Esetron, and HOYTEK. Following the development of the pre-prototypes, the critical design processes were initiated, and four 1st Level vehicles from two companies, eight 2nd Level vehicles from four companies, and four 3rd Level vehicles from two companies were qualified and tried out int the field by security forces before the serial production phase. Under the coordination of the SSB, the pre-prototype demonstrations of the 1st and 2nd Level Light Class Throwable Unmanned Ground Vehicles were conducted at a test area established by Aselsan with all the necessary features for testing and qualification of all products and prototypes to be produced within the scope of unmanned ground vehicle projects.