Enhanced ground defense: Japan invests in Rheinmetall Mission UGVs

In a major boost to autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles [UGVs] in Japan, Rheinmetall has secured an impressive contract, conferred upon them by the Japanese Ministry of Defense.  

Enhanced ground defense: Japan invests in Rheinmetall Mission UGVs
Photo credit: Rheinmetall

These compact, inconspicuous electric UGVs, designated as the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP, are slated for delivery in the early part of the upcoming year for trial purposes. Each UGV will boast various modules such as surveillance, cargo, and a remotely controlled weapon platform. The deal also includes an extended support and training program, in addition to spare parts, for the long haul.  

Rheinmetall is partnering with the lead contractor, Marubeni Aerospace, a significant element in the wheel of the Japanese business conglomerate, aiming to deliver these UGVs soon. With training from Rheinmetall, Marubeni is set to provide the much-needed local support to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

Rheinmetall Mission Master SP

Designed for optimal autonomous operations such as forward and last mile resupply missions, silent watch tasks, and the carriage of lightweight payloads, the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP is a compact, fully electric Unmanned Ground Vehicle [UGV]. Its versatility is further expressed in its ability to be towed or parachuted, allowing the vehicle to undertake missions in challenging terrains. Moreover, it’s fitted with tracks to provide advanced mobility in thick snow and mud – a feature that’s particularly beneficial for countries with harsh climates, like Japan. 

Emerging from the innovative labs of Rheinmetall Canada in 2017, the Mission Master SP was their debut UGV. It has proven its worth through repeated deployment in numerous live military exercises. The German, American, Royal Dutch and Polish armies are among the forces that have utilized this UGV. It has also attracted the attention of NATO allies such as the UK and USA, who have integrated this UGV into their military operations.

Enhanced ground defense: Japan invests in Rheinmetall Mission UGVs
Photo credit: Rheinmetall

Autonomous solutions for the modern battlefield

As a member of the Rheinmetall Mission Master family, the SP vehicle follows the methodology of Rheinmetall PATH. This navigation system is powered by artificial intelligence. Equipped with an assortment of cutting-edge sensors and perception algorithms, the Mission Master vehicles successfully navigate through some of the harshest landscapes. 

In the face of escalating global tensions, an increasing number of nations are beginning to explore autonomous solutions. The goal is to achieve strategic advantages and equip themselves for the modern battlefield. Over the recent years, our Mission Master vehicles that have been retrofitted with the PATH A-kit, have demonstrated remarkable performance in various international trials. These experiences have been crucial in refining our technology. As a result, we have been recognized globally as a center of excellence for Unmanned Ground Vehicles [UGVs], says Pietro Mazzei, the President and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada.

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