Home Bots & Bullets US Military buys 600 Centaur Unmanned Ground Vehicles

US Military buys 600 Centaur Unmanned Ground Vehicles

by Marco van der Hoeven

FLIR Systems has received more than $70 million in new orders for its ground robots from the U.S. Armed Services. The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps placed orders for nearly 600 FLIR Centaur robots, including additional spares, antennas, and payload mounting kits. As a result, the U.S. Army awarded FLIR a $31.6 million contract increase for its Man Transportable Robot System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) program. The new award raises the ceiling value of the original MTRS Inc. II contract from roughly $158 million to $190 million.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams use the FLIR Centaur unmanned ground system to assist in disarming landmines, unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and similar dangerous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to address other missions, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

Unmanned technology

In 2017, the Army chose Centaur as its MTRS Inc. II solution for a multi-year program of record. Since then, other U.S. military branches have opted to deploy Centaur to their EOD units as a new or replacement ground robot system. Since early last year, FLIR has announced orders totaling more than $170 million for over 1,300 Centaurs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corp.

“The strong demand for this multi-purpose robot shows how well unmanned technology can support EOD teams across our military, enabling them to do their job more safely and effectively,” said Tom Frost, VP in the Unmanned and Integrated Solutions business at FLIR. “We take enormous pride knowing Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines rely on the Centaur UGV to perform hazardous missions around the world every day.

Combined operations

“Given the platform’s versatility and commonality across U.S. defense forces, we see a future where our close allies can leverage this same technology to enable combined operations,” Frost added.

FLIR Centaur is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 pounds, the IOP-compliant robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRN detection and other missions.


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