LONDON, the UK (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The British Army has received its first four advanced bomb disposal robots, delivered by the U.S. technology company, defence contractor and information technology services provider Harris Corporation. This was announced on 23th December last year, by the U.K. Ministry of Defence, citing the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The abovementioned delivery is part of a contract amounting to £55 million, signed between Harris and the British Army, under which the U.S. company is responsible for the supply of 56 robots in total, that to be placed in service with the British armed forces by December 2020. Harris was awarded this contract under the Project Starter that aims to support EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) teams as well as to replace the current Wheelbarrow Mk8B remote-controlled EOD robots with the new ones.
The Harris Corporation’s T7 UGV (unmanned ground vehicle), which is equipped with high-definition cameras, lightning-fast datalinks, an adjustable manipulation arm and tough all-terrain treads, has the ability to mitigate and neutralise a wide range of explosive threats.
Prior to delivery, the robots endured a variety of tests during an eight-week ‘acceptance’ trials period at U.K. and U.S. sites that were specifically chosen to put the robots through their paces. These trials involved performing multi-terrain driving, battlefield missions, weightlifting and dexterity tasks, as well as conducting climatic and vibration testing, high-stress capabilities tests, live-firings, maximum traversing angles and interoperability assessments.
Gavin Williamson commented in his announcement: “These robots will go on to be an essential piece of kit, preventing harm to innocent civilians and the brave operators who make explosives safe. The robots will provide the army with the latest bomb-disposal technology and will prove to be trusted companions both on U.K. streets and in deadly conflict zones.”
Harris Corporation has equipped the robots with advanced haptic feedback function in order to allow the operators to ‘feel’ the bomb diffusing process and thus to deal better with threats including roadside bombs. In particular, this function enables the operators to have human-like dexterity while operating the robot’s arm by using the remote-control handgrip. In order the operator to be guided the unit gives physical feedback.
Colonel Zac Scott, head of the British Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Branch (DEODS) noted that Harris’ T7 uses advanced technology to provide “unprecedented levels of mobility and dexterity” to the EOD operators. According to him, it is a step-change in the capability of the British service personnel that can save lives.
Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news from us, follow our Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. Do not miss the chance to subscribe to our newsletter.
Source: UK Ministry of Defence