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The first air-land robotics day organised by the French Army takes place on 10 June, with Nexter and several other invited manufacturers displaying current and developing robotics solutions as the Army discusses Project VULCAIN, its vision for the robotics discipline in the 2035-2040 timeframe.

From an industrial perspective, this event will offer an opportunity to illustrate the current state of the art vis-à-vis land robotics in France, and to discuss the potential common interests of the various players present. As both an international player and also a sponsor of the event, Nexter is actively promoting this initiative which, according to Joël Morillon, director of the group's robotics activities, will enable "technical assessments to be carried out, while facilitating the consultation process with the administration.”

Nexter has been recognised as a major player in the military robotics sector since the creation of its subsidiary Nexter Robotics in 2012, and the first commercial successes of the NERVA range of land-based micro robots. Fifty-six of these modular reconnaissance robots were sold to the DGA (France’s defence procurement agency) under the SCORPION programme, and several hundred have been produced for export military customers. Among the large robots or Multipurpose Tactical Robots (MTR), Nexter markets combat vehicles armed with an X20 cannon (OPTIO-X20), surveillance robots, route clearing robots and even those supporting augmented artillery developments (Z-Trooper). ULTRO-600, the latest Nexter product, is a robot-mule that was presented during the Coëtquidan Schools Research Centre (CREC) days in late March. This electrically-powered MTR can carry up to 600kg of cargo or mount a weapon system in the 5.56-12.7mm calibre range.

As part of its programme for continuously enhancing capability, Nexter is also integrating multipurpose micro robots from the NERVA family into some of its vehicles, as well as tethered UAVs (IXOS XX) for close surveillance, and autonomous UAVs (XOS LG) that can see farther.

Finally, Nexter is a major participant in the European Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme. Over the next three years, Nexter teams will work on improving the intelligence of a Milrem Robotics THeMIS platform, specifically in extending its autonomous mobility capabilities.

ULTRO-600 will carry up to 600kg of equipment, lightening burdens and simplifying logistics for front line troops. (Photo: Nexter Robotics)

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