News Review: UGVs on the move in Israel | ADM Oct 08

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has received its first trial system of the Guardium Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) from G-NIUS, a joint venture between Elbit Systems and IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.).

Sponsored by MAFAT (the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Research & Development Branch), Guardium has taken part in security missions along Israel’s borders.

In preparation for its operational deployment, Guardium UGV is presently concluding a comprehensive test and evaluation campaign in the IDF’s Operational Test Laboratories.

The Israel Airports Authority recently evaluated the G-NIUS produced Guardium autonomous UGV for possible integration in the perimeter security system surrounding Ben-Gurion International Airport.

“Moving from human based operations to, machine-based autonomous systems is a global trend” says Erez Peled, general manager of G-NIUS Unmanned Ground Systems Ltd.

The Guardium autonomous vehicle is based on a Tomcar - a well proven off-road vehicle developed and produced in Israel.

The vehicle is fitted with layered, modular applications, including the robotic automotive kit, an autonomous mission management and control system, sensors, communications and mission payloads.

The kit is designed as a modular system, adaptable to different vehicles and missions.

In recent years Elbit Systems and IAI have both developed different prototypes of UGVs.

With the aim of meeting the great challenges inherent in developing unmanned ground systems and endeavoring to offer their customers a superior solution that leverages their cumulative extensive and complementary technological capabilities, IAI and Elbit Systems recently cooperated in the establishment of G-NIUS, as an equally owned joint venture.

The Guardium UGV supplied by G-NIUS to the IDF is an advanced 3rd generation UGV, whose technological features are based on the vast experience in UGV development acquired by G-NIUS’ parent companies.

Guardium UGV is based on a Tomcar platform, a proven off-road, highly manoeuvrable vehicle for rough terrain and challenging topography.

The vehicle features autonomous operation allowing for precise steering across pre-defined routes programmed in its mission profile.

Guardium UGV is capable of extended and continuous operation, and contains systems allowing for an all weather continuous transmittance of visual, audio and target data back to the operator without risk to human lives.

It is also able to autonomously detect and avoid various types of obstacles, enabling real-time course corrections without the intervention of an operator.

Offering modular selection of payloads, Guardium can be effectively utilized in a variety of force protection and homeland security applications, employing a dedicated set of operational tools.

Monitoring the vehicle operation through the Guardium command and control station, the vehicle operator can adjust its mission’s parameters, in the field and in real-time, so as to adapt the UGV performance to changing conditions.

The Airport Authority is considering tasking the UGV with patrol of the airport perimeter.

While improving security, deterrence and response time, an unmanned system has a potential to cut operating cost, compared to human systems.

To maintain lower operating cost, the unmanned systems will be controlled from existing operating centers.

Guardium UGV™ was delivered to the IDF earlier in 2008.

The first operational unit will begin operating Guardium vehicles along the country’s borders this year.

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