Defense contractor giant, Lockheed Martin, revealed its latest military technology – a remote controlled squad support vehicle. Like drones that can be controlled and flown by Air Force personnel thousands of miles away, the Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) can also be controlled remotely.
According to a report, the company demonstrated the vehicle at Camp Grayling, Michigan, “to show Army development communities the various capabilities of the SMSS, and prove to them that the Bethesda, Md.-based company is ready to advance the SMSS from technology development to fielding.”
And this six-wheeled “robot” is nothing short of impressive. The company boasts that the vehicle can carry out surveillance missions on a variety of terrain, assisting human squads before venturing into potentially harmful or dangerous territory.
“To carry out its surveillance missions, the SMSS was equipped with a Gyrocam 9M Tactical Surveillance Sensor and thermal video and General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies SATCOM-On-the-Move system. The 9M Tactical Surveillance Sensor furnished on-the-move, high-resolution electro-optical video.”
Four SMSS vehicles were tested in Afghanistan in 2012 to assist soldiers in various parts of the country.
As the Obama Administration shows no sign of scaling back ground combat in places like Afghanistan—and even in Iraq where contingency forces and private security personnel still remain—companies like Lockheed are winning big contracts to develop military technologies such as the SMSS.
Most recently, the company developed an Aegis System that intercepted a ballistic missile target using satellite-based data for the first time ever. According to that report, “U.S. Navy sailors aboard USS Lake Erie (CG-70) received tracking information from space tracking and surveillance satellites and launched the missile before the shipboard SPY-1 radar detected the target. The Aegis BMD Weapon System then guided the missile using tracking information from the space-based assets until the target was detected and tracked by the SPY-1 radar [and] intercepted the target.”
Lockheed employs over 120,000 people around the globe and is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Edited by Brooke Neuman