The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has exercised a £36 million (€39.3 million) contract option with L3Harris Technologies to provide T7 robotic systems to support domestic explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions, the company announced on 30 July. The award exercises an option to the £55 million contract awarded in 2017 for similar systems for overseas EOD missions.
The T7’s interface provides ease of use for operators and unmatched command and control. The robot provides operators with human-like dexterity and haptic force feedback from the robot arm to the remote-control handgrip. Its precision control and dexterity shorten task completion time and improve mission effectiveness, while its rugged track system provides the high degree of mobility and manoeuvrability required for operating in rough terrain, which uniquely positions the T7 as a ready-made solution for large EOD robot requirements globally. A variety of attachments enable use of standard-issue sensors, disruptors and tools that support a wide range of missions, including hazardous materials (HAZMAT) and the ability to disable and defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted inside vehicles.
The systems will be part of the MoD’s Project STARTER and will help to defeat a wide variety of explosive threats within the UK, including IEDs and unexploded ordnance (UXO). The T7 supports the demanding requirements of domestic deployed missions, including HAZMAT cleanup, EOD, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) missions. L3Harris produces the systems at its Palm Bay, FL factory and has established a repair depot in Brighton, UK.
“This award will bring life-saving technology to UK armed forces and reaffirms the importance of highly reliable, precise and easy-to-use robotic systems for EOD operators,” explained L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems President, Ed Zoiss. “The exercising of this contract option reaffirms that Project STARTER program execution has gone exceptionally well and performance of the T7 systems to date are exceeding the customer’s expectations.”
L3Harris has a legacy of supporting British customers that dates back over 100 years. The company has about 2,000 employees in 21 locations throughout the UK, supporting a variety of government and commercial programmes.