ECA Group has won two contracts to supply its new-generation CAMELEON LG ground robot to the armed forces of France and Canada, the company announced on 1 October.
The French contract was awarded in the context of the SCORPION programme, which aims to modernise the capabilities of ground troops in the collaborative combat environment. After extensive technical and operational evaluation by three separate agencies, the DGA (France’s defence procurement authority) placed an order with Nexter Group for 56 robots. As part of this order, ECA will supply 38 CAMELEON LG devices. The first robots will be delivered in June next year and the order completed by early 2021. The fresh order highlights renewed confidence in ECA Group solutions, following the €30+ million order placed last year for over 50 IGUANA robots under the SMINEX programme, which aims to bring comprehensive integrated solutions to the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) domains.
Canada has been using ECA’s COBRA Mk 2 for the last six years. After a competitive evaluation, Canada also selected the CAMELEON LG for its mine-clearance mission. Nine of the unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) will be supplied to the Canadian armed forces, with an initial delivery scheduled for April 2020. The contract includes an option for a further four robots.
Developed in 2018 and launched earlier this year, CAMELEON LG was designed to meet the new operational needs of operators requiring lightweight, compact and resilient equipment. At 12kg with a payload of 15kg, the robot can be equipped with a manipulator arm capable of lifting 4.5kg loads or with sensors such as thermal cameras, chemical or radiological sensors, laser rangefinders, etc., making it suitable for a variety of missions from mine clearance to reconnaissance. With a 500m radius of action and the ability to climb a 45° slope, the CAMELEON LG can be ‘throw deployed’ to limit operator vulnerability and increase tactical flexibility in urban or inaccessible terrain. It can be carried in any military vehicle or in a backpack and can be brought into operation in only three minutes.