Bundeswehr buys war-proven in Afghan caves bomb-disposal UGVs

PARIS ($1=0.95 Euros) — The German Ministry of Defense acquires an American robot for bomb disposal, surveillance, and reconnaissance, which has experience in the war in Afghanistan and the dangers of mined Afghan caves. This is the PackBot 525 robot, the successor to the legendary PackBot of the American company Teledyne FLIR.

Bundeswehr buys war-proven in Afghan caves bomb-disposal UGVs
Photo credit: Teledyne FLIR

The deal was concluded in the last days of the exhibition in Paris – Eurosatory, which took place from Monday to Friday, and includes the production and delivery of 127 units of PackBot 525 UGVs. The information was officially announced by representatives of Teledyne FLIR.

According to the official specifications of the PackBot 525, the device has several new integrations and updates. For example, state-of-the-art HD cameras, improved illumination, optional in-situ charging, the addition of a laser range finder, enhanced accessory ports, and more attachment points for add-on accessories are integrated.

Teledyne FLIR says the new robot has improved accessory ports and the device’s and monitor’s batteries charge themselves while the device is running. The software architecture is open, which means that future improvements and software solutions can be easily integrated into the robot.

Thanks to HD cameras and a laser rangefinder, the PackBot 525 not only performs special missions to clear bombs or mined areas but also participates in team missions to reconnoiter, monitor, and identify suspects, CBRN detection, and HazMat handling operations. The PackBot 525 can be lifted with a payload of 20 kilograms and is easy to transport – it can even fit in the trunk of a car.

Bundeswehr buys war-proven in Afghan caves bomb-disposal UGVs
Photo credit: Teledyne FLIR

PackBot operates in at least 57 countries, according to representatives of the American company. The delivery of the 127 PackBot 525s to the German army [Bundeswehr] will begin next month at the earliest. The robot itself weighs 27 kg and comes with a tablet-based controller and advanced sensors to detect chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

Teledyne FLIR official Dr. David Cullin said that delivering new unmanned assets to Germany will help its soldiers perform dangerous missions while keeping them out of harm’s way.

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