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Jack Richardson

FLIR Systems, Inc has announced that the U.S. Army and Navy have ordered in total of more than 160 of the company’s CENTAUR™ Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV), plus related spares and accessories. The two contracts, totalling US$23.5m, are being sourced through the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) programme. Since March, FLIR has announced orders totalling more than US$65m for nearly 500 CENTAUR UGVs from the USAF, USMC, and now the U.S. Navy. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will use the CENTAUR to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance, and similar hazardous tasks. Operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the UGV to support other functions including Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) missions. In 2017, the U.S. Army selected Endeavor Robotics, acquired last year by FLIR, as its medium-sized robot provider for MTRS Inc II. The company designed CENTAUR as its MTRS solution with FLIR delivering robots to the Army under that multi-year programme of record which upon award was valued at more than $150 million, including options, with these latest orders falling under the current ceiling.

The system

CENTAUR is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify, and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 pounds, the open-architecture UGV features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions with deliveries expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020.