QinetiQ2006-12-28 09:28:49

The UK's next generation bomb disposal robots to be supplied by Northrop Grumman, teamed with QinetiQ

Northrop Grumman through its Remotec UK subsidiary, which is teamed with QinetiQ, has been appointed prime contractor for Phase II of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) CUTLASS robotics programme. The CUTLASS programme will provide the next generation of unmanned ground vehicle for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to be used by the MOD for anti-terrorism operations worldwide. The bulk of deliveries will take place in 2010.

"Thirty years of experience has gone into the UK MOD's research and development efforts in the field of robotics for conventional munitions disposal and improvised explosive device disposal. QinetiQ is delighted to be teamed with Northrop Grumman for the delivery of the CUTLASS programme,� commented Fiona Lewinton, managing director for QinetiQ's land division. "Our vast experience has enabled us to make significant technical contributions in the supply of the Command and Control sub-systems for the overall CUTLASS system.�

The CUTLASS system offers the latest technology in a modular design, enabling the user to deal with the full range of both military and improvised explosive devices. Its sophisticated, large, rugged but highly versatile design means that it is capable of accommodating a wide range of payloads, sensors and tools.

The CUTLASS manipulator arm is equipped with a state-of-the-art gripper and has nine degrees of freedom for greater movement and agility inside limited spaces, such as the interior of a car. The robot is able to creep along at deliberately slow speeds for delicate operations and may accelerate to high speeds to enable rapid travel. The six-wheeled design offers mobility on all types of hard and soft terrain and in all weather conditions.

QinetiQ is providing the vehicle command and control systems. QinetiQ's user-friendly operator command console will combine manual commands with advanced software to provide the unprecedented functionality required for such a demanding mission environment.

The logistics support effort will be led by LSC Group. The support strategy will translate user availability, maintainability and requirements into cost-effective support solutions using a wide range of analysis and prediction tools and techniques. In addition, LSC will have responsibility for the CUTLASS programme's risk management and tracking activities.

Wendy McGowan, managing director of Remotec UK, Ltd said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the CUTLASS production contract after our strong performance in the demanding competitive Advanced Demonstrator phase of the project. CUTLASS will provide the MOD with a step change in capability via a robot that is capable of adapting to new innovations in the world of bomb disposal.�

Dr Graham Thornton, vice-president of business development for Northrop Grumman UK added: "We are very excited about this contract award. It builds on our existing long-standing close relationship with the MOD and demonstrates our ability to create strong industry partnerships leading to the robust application of leading edge technologies.�

For more information contact:
Cody Technology Park
Room G069, Building A 7
Cody Technology Park, Ively Road
GU14 0LX
United Kingdom
Tel:     +44(0)8700 100 942


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