Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected to demonstrate its Carry-all Modular Equipment Landrover, called CaMEL, during the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Robotics Limited Demonstration Oct. 7-10 at Fort Benning, Ga.
Northrop Grumman's CaMEL will participate in both parts of the center's 'robot rodeo:' A 'lighten-the-load' CaMEL configuration will traverse the Squad-Multipurpose Equipment Transport, or S-MET, course Oct. 7. On Oct. 10, the company's Mobile Armed Dismount Support System, an armed robotic CaMEL platform, will participate in wireless live firing of an armed unmanned ground vehicle.
CaMEL is a mid-sized unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) designed to accommodate multiple missions, including lightening the load; performing casualty evacuations; clearing antipersonnel mine routes; and hauling ammunition for dismounted mortar platoons. It also can serve as a mobile communications platform, towed artillery ammunition carrier, network retransmission platform and robotic weapon system and can be used in resupplying ammunition, barrier materials for obstacles and food and water.
On the S-MET range, CaMEL and other robotic systems will be put through their paces to assist the Army in developing requirements in categories including operational range, speed, load-bearing capacity, navigation options (tethered, wireless and autonomous), mobility and maneuverability in various terrain, obstacle detection and avoidance and energy efficiency. CaMEL will be converted to the mobile armed dismount support system configuration for the live fire.
"CaMEL is a multifunction platform that can quickly transform from supporting troops to protecting troops as an armed wingman, increasing the firepower of dismounted platoon and company maneuver units," said Phil Coker, director of the Integrated Platform Solutions business at Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "Its hybrid engine allows the armed CaMEL to operate very quietly – a real plus on the battlefield – and travel farther to provide firepower where it's needed."
The 'armed wingman' CaMEL in its Mobile Armed Dismount Support System configuration can carry a variety of crew-served weapons, including the MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher, M2 heavy machine gun, M240/249 machine gun and 25 and 30mm weapon systems. It also can carry a load of 1,000 lbs. of equipment at a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour across rough terrain.
CaMEL's hybrid design – diesel engine combined with a battery – not only provides more than 20 hours of continuous operations on 3.5 gallons of fuel but also produces power that can be exported and used for charging batteries or powering other systems.
"Power is one of the biggest challenges on the battlefield. CaMEL is an innovative solution that reaches out and touches power in a new way – it's a robotic transport and weapons platform that actually generates, not just uses, power," Coker said.
The annual Maneuver Center's Robotics Limited Demonstration gives industry the opportunity to showcase new and innovative UGVs and interact with the Army user, research and development, and capability-development communities.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.