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The USAF has ordered over 180 CENTAUR unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) from FLIR Systems in a $23 million (€20.6 million) contract under the DoD’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) programme, the company announced on 2 March. Shipments are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020.

In 2017, the US Army selected Endeavor Robotics (now FLIR Systems) as its medium-sized robot provider for MTRS Inc II. The company created a newly designed UGV, the CENTAUR, as its MTRS Inc II solution. FLIR has begun delivering CENTAUR units to the Army under that multi-year programme of record, which upon award was valued at up to $158 million, including options.

Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will use CENTAUR to assist in disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance and similar hazardous tasks. Multiple sensors and payloads can be added to the UGV to support other missions.

CENTAUR gives operators a highly versatile, man-transportable UGV that helps saves lives by keeping humans away from danger,” explained David Ray, President of the Government and Defense Business Unit at FLIR.

CENTAUR is a remotely-operated, medium-sized UGV system that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify and dispose of hazards. Weighing roughly 160 lbs, the robot, buolt on an open architecture, features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches more than six feet, and the ability to climb stairs. Its modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions.

CENTAUR units will begin shipping to the USAF under the current order from the second quarter of 2020. (Photo: FLIR Systems)

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