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FLIR lands $23m US Air Force robotics deal

FLIR lands $23m US Air Force robotics deal article image

FLIR Systems has revealed details of a new contract with the US Air Force worth US$23 million.

Through the US Department of Defence the Air Force has ordered more than 180 of the company’s Centaur unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), plus spares. The order is part of the Department’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) program.

In 2017, the US Army chose FLIR Systems’ legacy business, Endeavor Robotics, as its medium-sized robot provider for MTRS Inc II.

The company created a newly designed UGV, Centaur, as its MTRS Inc II solution. FLIR has begun delivering Centaur units to the Army under that multi-year program of record, which upon award was valued at up to US$158 million, including options.

Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will use the FLIR Centaur to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Multiple sensors and payloads can be added to Centaur to support other missions.

Disposal of hazards

“Centaur gives operators a highly versatile, man-transportable UGV that helps saves lives by keeping humans away from danger,” said David Ray, president of the Government and Defence Business Unit at FLIR. “We’re pleased the Air Force has chosen Centaur as its mid-sized robot solution and that the MTRS Inc II program can serve as an efficient procurement vehicle.”

Centaur is a remotely operated, medium-sized UGV system that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards.

Weighing about 72kg, the open-architected robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches more than two metres, and the ability to climb stairs.

Its modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions.

Shipments are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020. 

For more on FLIR Systems’ Unmanned Ground Systems platforms, visit www.flir.com/UIS/UGS.

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