American Rheinmetall vehicles conducts live-fire demo and continues to deliver autonomous ground vehicles to the U.S. Marine Corps

 08. 03. 2024      Category: Ground forces

American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) and Rheinmetall Canada have successfully conducted a live-fire capability demonstration for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) in Fort Clinton, Ohio to highlight the unique capabilities of the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP autonomous, unmanned ground vehicle (A-UGV) paired with the Fieldranger Remotely Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS). This armed variant of the Rheinmetall Mission Master SP provides Marines a variety of remote operated capabilities including armed reconnaisance, sentry over watch, fire support, flank security, screening capability, and more. Having completed numerous test and evaluation events with the Mission Master SP, American Rheinmetall Vehicles continues to deliver ground-breaking advancements in A-UGV systems to the USMC. It first made deliveries to the USMC in early 2023, and several follow-on orders for A-UGVs are proceeding in 2024. The platforms have the potential to substantially enhance the way Marines fight.

Picture: Mission Master Unmanned Ground Vehicle | Rheinmetall
Picture: Mission Master Unmanned Ground Vehicle | Rheinmetall

Mission Master SPs furnished by American Rheinmetall Vehicles were also extensively tested by the USMC during the Talisman Sabre Exercise (TS23) in Queensland, Australia, in summer 2023 and as part of the Apollo Shield exercise at Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, California, in fall 2023, both in support of Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) evaluations. The Mission Master SPs’ participation supported MCWL’s one year, crawl-walk-run, bilateral effort to test equipment capabilities and evaluate tactics, techniques, and procedures of Infantry squads equipped with A-UGVs. Tasks the Mission Master SP A-UGVs took on during the exercises included casualty evacuations (CASEVAC), resupply missions, fully autonomous road marches reaching ranges up to 50 kilometers, and operating in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) environments. Feedback from the Marines and their Commanders drove A-UGV design modifications and solidified the benefits of A-UGVs among Marines.

In December 2023, American Rheinmetall Vehicles received an order to manufacture and deliver six Mission Master SPs which are slated for delivery to III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to support further training and evaluation. Four of the Mission Master SPs will support 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, who will be the first unit to conduct pre-deployment work-ups and deploy with the A-UGVs.

“Bringing the capabilities of the Mission Master SP A-UGV to today‘s Marines gives me great pride in knowing that lives will be saved and Marines will be better prepared for battle,“ said Mike Brooks, Gunner (CW05) USMC Ret., and Director of Business Development for American Rheinmetall Vehicles.

"MCWL’s experimentation with state-of-the-art autonomous systems exemplifies our commitment to harnessing innovative technologies that enhance our tactical capabilities, ensuring our Marines are better equipped, more agile, and always a step ahead on the battlefield," stated Maj Steven Atkinson, Robotics & Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Branch Head for the Science and Technology Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.

Rheinmetall PATH A-kit: A platform-agnostic, next-generation system that brings autonomous mobility to any vehicle

Each of Rheinmetall’s Mission Master SP A-UGVs uses the Rheinmetall PATH autonomy kit (A-kit), a navigation system developed by Rheinmetall Canada that enables fully autonomous movement and mission planning for vehicles. It can be rapidly added onto existing legacy vehicles or integrated into the latest next-generation platforms. It is a core element of Rheinmetall’s exceptional Mission Master family of autonomous vehicles and combines advanced sensors, technology leading algorithms, and real-time data analysis to allow vehicle platforms to maneuver autonomously in a wide range of operating environments. Fielded and tested on this family of vehicles, but also a wide array of other platforms, the PATH A-kit is a mature, proven technology that stands out from the competition providing a high degree of autonomous mobility.

American Rheinmetall Vehicles is leveraging the PATH A-kit technology to supply program specific vehicle solutions for the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck program and XM30 program.

 Author: Joe Taylor