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Japan Procures First Fleet of UGVs From Rheinmetall

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has contracted Rheinmetall to produce its first fleet of autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

An unspecified number of Rheinmetall Mission Master SP UGVs will be delivered under the multi-million-dollar contract by early next year for testing.

Rheinmetall will deliver the compact, low-signature electric vehicles in collaboration with contractor Marubeni Aerospace, a Japanese firm.

The contract includes a long-term support and training program, as well as spare parts. 

Mission Master SP UGV

Each of the vehicles will be fitted with different payload modules, including cargo, surveillance, and a remote-controlled weapon station.

Moreover, it will be driven by the AI-powered Rheinmetall PATH navigation system.

The vehicle can be towed, deployed by parachute, and fitted with tracks for enhanced mobility in difficult terrain such as snow and mud.

Its potential missions include “forward and last mile resupply missions, silent watch operations, and carriages of light payloads, including section sensors and weapon systems,” according to Rheinmetall.

Tried and Tested

Developed by Rheinmetall Canada in 2017, a number of NATO countries have since procured the UGV, including the US and UK.

“As international tensions continue to rise, more and more countries are seeking autonomous solutions to maintain a competitive advantage and prepare for the modern battlefield. Our Mission Master vehicles equipped with our PATH A-kit have performed well in numerous international trials in recent years,” President and CEO at Rheinmetall Canada Pietro Mazzei said.

“These experiences have allowed us to refine our technology and become an internationally renowned center of excellence for UGVs.” 

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