U.S. more than quadruples its robot order for Iraq
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Friday, November 10, 2006
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military plans a dramatic expansion in what has been deemed a successful robot operation against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in
both Iraq and Afghanistan.Copyright © 2006 East West
Officials said the military has has more than quadrupled its order, with a contract for 1,200 robots to detect and neutralize roadside bombs. The
robots would be delivered to the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) units of every service in the military.
The Waltham, Mass.-based Foster-Miller has received its largest U.S.
military order to date for ground robots, Middle East Newsline reported. Executives said the multi-year
contract increased from $27.5 million for 250 robots to $124 million for up
to 1,200 Talon EOD robots.
Officials and industry sources said the military plans to use the robots
for explosive ordnance disposal. They said the robots would enhance
detection and disposal of improvised explosive devices in both Afghanistan
So far, Talon robots have completed more than 50,000 EOD missions.
Executives said the Talons have rendered safe thousands of IEDs in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
The U.S. Navy has managed the EOD robot program, termed the Man
Transportable Robotic System program. MTRS has been managed by the Naval
Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head, Md. for the air force, army, Marine
Corps and navy EOD units around the world.
The Talon lightweight tracked vehicle, deployed since 2000, has been
used for explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance, communications,
sensing, security, defense and rescue. The robot has been described as
man-portable, with all-weather, day/night and amphibious capabilities.