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Next Generation USMC Unmanned Vehicles

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Today the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory will complete a more than weeklong experiment to test unmanned ground vehicles designed to lighten the load for embarked fleet Marines.

Limited Objective Experiment 2.2 featured a modified Polaris all-terrain vehicle designed to assist dismounted Marines carry ammunition, supplies and provide deployed Marines to more easily evacuate casualties.

The Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate (GUSS) isn’t a final program of record for the service but a platform to prove concepts that could be useful for Marines in the future.

GUSS at Ft. Pickett, Va. on July, 30 2012 U.S. Naval Institute Photo

GUSS at Ft. Pickett, Va. on July, 30 2012 U.S. Naval Institute Photo

GUSS can be controlled by several methods including a GPS guided predetermined waypoint mode, a “follow me” mode in which GUSS follows a Marine with a controller and using the same controller to navigate the controller directly.

As the experimentation progresses, MCWL is looking transfer the technology to a MV-22 transportable Growler Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV).

During a July 30 demonstration, Marines encountered a simulated artillery strike and used the GUSS to simulate an evacuation of a casualty. In addition to GUSS, MCWL tested an unmanned versions of two 7-ton Oskosh-built Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) trucks.

Unmanned MTVR at Ft. Pickett, Va. on July, 30 2012 U.S. Naval Institute Photo

Unmanned MTVR at Ft. Pickett, Va. on July, 30 2012 U.S. Naval Institute Photo

The two unmanned MTVRs will operate in a convoy with a third MTVR that acts as a guidance beacon. The unmanned vehicles are equipped with a combination of radar, LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors and internal navigation equipment to provide a complete maneuver picture for the vehicles.

The logistics exercise finishes on August 7 and MCWL will tabulate the data for the next set of experiments.

Categories: Military Personnel, U.S. Marine Corps
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.