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Army Advances Bomb Disposal Tech Modernization With Three Robotic Programs

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The U.S. military has launched efforts to modernize its explosive ordnance disposal technologies and one of the service branches has made progress developing robotic systems in the past year, National Defense reported Friday.

Louis Analure, product manager for unmanned ground vehicles at the project manager office for force protection, said the U.S. Army is working on three open architecture-based systems: the man transportable robotic system increment 2, common robotic system-heavy and the common robotic system-individual.

FLIR Systems works on the MTRS increment 2 project, while QinetiQ North America develops CRS(I). The CRS(H) program is still in the solicitation phase and is expected to be deployed in fiscal year 2020.

Analure said the Army plans to field MTRS increment 2 and CRS(I) in the second quarter of FY 2020.

Maj. James Alfaro, EOD capability development chief at the Army’s capability development integration directorate, said the EOD system modernization is part of the service’s operating concept for 2028 multidomain operations, which he said focuses on compete, penetrate, disintegrate, exploit and recompete phases of warfare.

“The expectation here is that our adversaries are going to multiple layers of standoff [weapons] in all domains to separate U.S. forces and our allies in time, space and distance in order to defeat us,” he said. “To counter that, EOD formations need to be resilient, mobile and unpredictable in a manner that enables the supported formations to engage adversaries from a position of advantage.”

Alfaro said the service also plans to provide EOD warfighters with unmanned aerial vehicles to support their payload delivery and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.