The Talon® family of versatile Explosive Ordnance (bomb) Disposal (EOD) robots are produced by Foster-Miller, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ North America. The SWORD (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Direct-action System) variant can be configured with either an M240 or M249 machine gun or a Barrett .50 calibre rifle for armed reconnaissance missions. These systems will be on display on QinetiQ’s stand 641 at DSEi (11-14 September).
Talon robots are a family of powerful, durable, lightweight, remotely operated, tracked vehicles that enable the operator to be positioned up to a kilometre away from the danger point. Talon robots are widely used for EOD, reconnaissance, communications, sensing, security, defence and rescue operations. They have all-weather, day/night capabilities and can navigate virtually any type of terrain. The flexibility of the Talon architecture facilitates straight forward integration of sensors and accessories making it a highly versatile platform and one which requires a low logistic footprint.
Multiple SWORDS variant prototype systems have been delivered to the US Army ARDEC (Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center) for evaluation. Three of these systems have now completed extensive testing with the 3rd Infantry Division and are being deployed to Iraq. Additional systems are currently being evaluated by military units in the United States and by other nations.
“With over 1000 EOD units in theatre to date, the Talon robot customer base continues to grow worldwide,” explained Chrys Stevenson, business development director for QinetiQ’s Land business. “The SWORD variant will further extend the versatility of this platform and it can be used to protect ground forces and operate in dangerous and hazardous environments. The operators, who can be located some distance away, are able to control their missions from a position of relative safety. Of significant importance is that the operator remains in direct control of the SWORD at all times and a person has to make the final decision to engage the target.”
Talon SWORDS principal characteristics:-
- Rugged all-terrain, all-weather tracked vehicle with day/night capability
- Weighing around 200 lb (90 kg), it’s man-portable, easily transported and instantly ready for use
- US Army safety confirmation for M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and M240 Medium Machine Gun (pending).Can be equipped with mounts for M16 rifle, Barrett .50 calibre, 40 mm grenade launcher and M202 anti-tank rocket systems
- High flotation and traction for operations in soft sand, mud, snow or heavy brush and can climb stairs, negotiates rock piles, and can traverse concertina wire
- Controlled by RF from an attaché-sized operator control unit (OCU)– the TALON is widely regarded by user community as being amongst the easiest robot to operate, particularly in a hostile environment
- Vehicle speed of up to 5.5 mph (8 kmh)
- With a four hour battery run time, Talon robots have the longest battery life of all man-portable robots.