Centaur makes overseas debut
Teledyne FLIR will display its Centaur UGV at DSEI 2021 in London from 14-17 September — the first time that the UGV will be seen in public outside the US.
David Viens, ex-US Army officer and VP for business development at Teledyne FLIR Unmanned Integrated Solutions, told Shephard: ‘The UGV was originally designed for the US Army as part of the MTRS Inc II [Man Transportable Robotic System – Increment II] programme of record in 2017 to outfit every single EOD and CBRNE engineer with a Centaur platform’.
The platform has since been adopted by all four US armed services, which Viens claimed is ‘a first for a US ground robotics programme where every single unit has the same platform’. He added: ‘Everybody gets to leverage the time and money invested in the army in the fielding of the programme’, including standard training plus tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and logistics. ‘We are not one service anymore and we don’t fight as one nation anymore. A recent example is the recent evacuation in Kabul, with British Paras next to the US 2nd Airborne Division working side-by-side.'
Benefits of the Centaur platform to NATO and Five Eyes partners include a vast cost saving, Viens noted, adding: ‘The US Army spent so much time writing the requirement, fielding, engineering, [and] improving upon it, [that] others can leverage the development that has already been done by the US military’. Since January 2020, Teledyne FLIR has announced orders totalling more than $170 million for over 1,300 Centaurs from the US Army, USN, USAF and USMC.Centaur is a medium-sized, IOP-compliant, tracked UGV that is designed to provide a stand-off capability for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) and EOD users.
The 74kg UGV can operate for up to 8h on a single charge and it can clear obstacles of just over 15cm. The five degrees-of-freedom manipulator arm has a maximum reach of just under 2m and can lift up to 14.5kg.