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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 08:35
U.S. Marines Experimenting With Unmanned Ground Vehicles – UGVs Could Be Headed To Afghanistan

The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System surveys the area around the expeditionary airfield at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Feb. 6. (Cpl. D.J. Wu / Marine Corps)


March 9, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


The Marine Corps Times is reporting that the Corps is experimenting with a new unmanned ground vehicle that can patrol installations and detect intruders or potential enemy forces nearly a mile away.


More from the Marine Corps Times:


The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System, or MDARS, was used in late January to successfully secure an air base during the latest Integrated Training Exercise — the final predeployment workup all units conduct at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. The vehicle could be headed to Afghanistan, according to its developers, although concrete plans have not been made.


A field demonstration of MDARS began Jan. 30 at the combat center’s Camp Wilson. The vehicle successfully aided members of Marine Aircraft Group 13 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 to patrol the area immediately surrounding their airfield as a mock enemy force tried to probe their defenses.


During the first night, the vehicle was autonomously navigating around the base — by heading to predetermined waypoints — when guards in one tower detected two potential enemy soldiers, said Pat Culliton, the MDARS program manager with San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.


“We were operating between two towers and one of the towers reported some activity,” Culliton said. “From the operator control station you just click a button and say go there.”


Full story here

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19 février 2014 3 19 /02 /février /2014 08:20
Marines Test UGVs for Base Security, Defense

The Marines tested two MDARS unmanned vehicles during the exercise, one armed and one unarmed, and participants reported both provided effective security, detecting "enemy" movements around the airfield and deterring them from entering the perimeter. (USMC photo)


Feb 18, 2014 defense-unmanned.com (Source: Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center; posted Feb 13, 2014)


SPAWAR System Provides Security for Marines


TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --- Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 conducted Air Base Ground Defense training during their evolution of the Integrated Training Exercise with the help of a new unmanned ground device, the Mobile Detection Assessment Response System, Feb 6, 2014.


The MDARS, developed by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, lends support for the ABGD with either user-operated or autonomous controls. It patrols its environment and constantly surveys the area for possible threats.


Though the SPAWAR team only spent a few days at the Combat Center during the ITX, they were able to demonstrate the MDARS’ capabilities for the Marine Aircraft Group 13 and MWSS-374 Marines.


“The system works really well in notifying my Marines if activity is detected,” said 1st Lt. Erin Mahonney, platoon commander, MWSS-374. “We had an unknown enemy in the area and I got to see what the system was capable of. I definitely saw what this system could be and how it can help us.”


The MDARS sees just as well at night as it does during the day. The system has an assortment of sensors, cameras and radar that can trigger a response on its own to alert the operator.


The goal of this new semi-autonomous system is to keep service members safe without sacrificing the security of an area. Although the vehicle is not meant for combat, it can be fitted with a variety of weapon systems to make it more capable of engaging potential combatants if necessary.


“MWSS-374 saw the interest in the system and wanted to see it fielded during ITX,” said Pat Culliton, project manager, Force Protection Systems. “We’re fielding the system here and showing what it can do for the ABGD.”


The SPAWAR team fielded two MDARS vehicles during ITX, one with weapons and one without. Both units were able to affectively assist in providing security around the airfield. They were able to detect enemy movements and deter advancement onto the airfield.


Despite the MDARS system’s limited involvement during the ITX, the SPAWAR team was able to showcase its capabilities and demonstrate how it can be utilized in an Air Base Grand Defense.

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