QinetiQ North America (QNA) has approximately 27 years experience in the mine/countermine mission area. Our
expertise covers mine development, detection, and neutralization and has always been intertwined with deployment of
remote robotic systems. Our countermine payload systems have been used to detect limpet mines on ship hulls, antiassault
mines in shallow water and littoral zones and currently for clearance and render safe of land-based routes. In our
talk, we will address the challenges encountered in addressing the ongoing countermine mission over a diverse range of
operational scenarios, environmental conditions and strategic priorities.
Foster-Miller's unmanned ground vehicle, TALON, was originally developed under DARPA's Tactical Mobile Robotics (TMR) program. TALON has evolved over the years and has proven to be a robust, mobile, universal platform. As a result of the advances made in the evolution of TALON, new and far-reaching opportunities have been realized for unmanned ground vehicles. In recent conflicts such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, unmanned systems have played an important role and have extended the reach and capabilities of the War fighter. Technological advances have transformed unmanned vehicles in to useful tools and in some cases are used in lieu of sending in a soldier. Unmanned ground vehicles have seen recent and persistent success, as shown in theater, in the explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) and improvised ordinance disposal (IED) missions. Foster-Miller's TALON has experienced over ten thousand EOD and IED missions in Iraq alone. The success of the unmanned system has resulted in the doctrine "Send the robot in first". Foster-Miller has taken the role of the unmanned vehicle in yet another direction. Foster-Miller has transformed the TALON from a "practical" to "tactical" system. Through the combined efforts of Foster-Miller and the US Army, TALON has been involved in a weaponization program. To date, Foster-Miller has outfitted the TALON with 11 systems. As one can see, the unmanned ground vehicle is much more than a mobility platform.