18 Sep 2017

Defence Secretary announces £55m contract for UK bomb disposal robots

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced a contract worth up to £55 million for 56 innovative bomb disposal robots.

Following an initial £4 million demonstration phase, the robots will be purchased from US robotics manufacturer Harris under the MOD’s Project Starter for use by the British Army, and will be supported by engineers at Harris EDO MBM Technology in Brighton.

Equipped with high-definition cameras, lightning-fast datalinks, an adjustable manipulation arm and tough all-terrain treads, the robots are able to neutralise a wide range of threats.

The haptic feedback function is designed to provide operators with human-like dexterity while they operate the robot’s arm using the remote control handgrip. The unit gives the operator physical feedback, allowing intuitive detailed control.

Making the announcement at DSEI 2017, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: These state-of-the-art bomb disposal robots will be powerful and reliable companions to our troops on the battlefield, keeping them safe so they can help keep us safe.”

Chief Executive Officer for Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, Tony Douglas said: “This contract has been designed to deliver future-proof, world-leading technology at the best value to the taxpayer.

“Innovation is central not only to the success of this remarkable system, but also to the relationships across DE&S, Industry and the frontline commands which allowed this agreement to be reached.”

image © Crown Copyight

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