Proposals shall address design or prototyping of a system, not excluding upstream and downstream activities, which should:
- Include a system capable of manned-unmanned and unmanned-unmanned teaming with other robotic unmanned aerial and ground platforms as well as traditional manned vehicles to provide combat support and combat service support to ground forces;
- Increase situational awareness and force protection of ground units, their combat effectiveness, endurance, mobility and autonomy, and enable faster deployment;
- Have the ability to be deployed in support of dismounted troops in all types of geographic and operational environments (including denied environments) with evolving levels of autonomy and robustness for transport and supply delivery, force protection, interdiction, ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), communication relay, military engineering support, medical evacuation or CBRN protection;
- Lower workload for UGS operator(s) through maximum use of artificial intelligence and assisted functions (e.g. autonomous mobility, automatic target/threat detection/tracking/prioritization), in order to assure better awareness of the tactical situation for UGS operator(s) (information superiority in a network enabled scenario);
- Include modular design and interoperability of the UGS, in order to ensure transferability of the relevant technology to other platforms (including existing manned vehicles) and simplify payload integration during the follow-up development projects.
Proposals can also include the integration of an increased number of unmanned systems (swarming) to be remotely operated by human beings.
The proposals shall cover at least the design of a multipurpose unmanned ground system, not excluding upstream and downstream activities, such as feasibility study or prototyping and testing in an operational environment.
Main high-level requirements
The system shall meet the following general requirements:
- Be designed for operations encompassing the entire spectrum of conflicts from permissive to denied environments, by day, night and in adverse weather conditions;
- Provide, when necessary, in addition to functioning as part of mechanized troops, advanced mobility and a reduced footprint allowing systems to support dismounted troops in different environments, where traditional manned vehicles are not able to operate;
- Support all types of missions of infantry units without compromising their stealth and endurance;
- According to the UGS weight class, have design elements for protection which address the appropriate threats;
- Be equipped with cyber secure and Electronic Warfare (EW) resilient C2;
- Have a modular, open, scalable and cyber-secure architecture for different manned and unmanned capabilities;
- Provide a modular architecture for future upgrades and implementation of different autonomous functions;
- Be capable of manoeuvring autonomously to pre-planned battle positions and have the ability to carry at least a squad sized unit equipment;
- Have autonomous functions for unmanned ground systems' LOS (Line Of Sight) and BLOS (Beyond Line Of Sight) missions;
- Be based on a ground vehicle on which a variety of payloads can be mounted to support various mission functionalities: transport, fire-support, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), EW and cyber, etc. The sensors and communication systems of the ground vehicle shall have the capability to be integrated into broader networks;
- Ensure that autonomy related capabilities, that can cause collateral damage, are restricted to human-in-the-loop or human-on-the-loop common control in order to minimize collateral damage risks ensure operations under rules of engagements.
- Enhanced interoperability between armed forces of Member States;
- Increased situational awareness and force protection of ground units, their combat effectiveness, endurance, mobility and autonomy to enable faster deployment, and to enhance the interoperability and affordability of ground forces;
- Faster decision-making and significantly increased resilience and protection of soldiers in any environment;
- Contribution to rebuild a credible deterrent in terms of land combat capability, by introducing in the shortest time the right number of advanced logistic and combat vehicles in general as well as CSPS and introducing the unique capabilities of UGS to operate in high risk scenarios;
- Reduction, through commonality and mass production, of the acquisition and life-cycle costs for each Member State;
- Contribution to the strategic autonomy of the European Union.
Dateline for proposal submission: 29 August 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time
Source: The European Commission
Illustration Photo: Israeli Made Guardium UGV (credits: Cpl. Zev Marmorstein, IDF Spokesperson's Unit / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0))