Procurement: Big Re-Order for Popular Combat Robots


September 30, 2005: The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $140 million contract for more battlefield robots, as well as parts, repairs and training. This is just for one model of MTRS (Man Transportable Robotic System), the iRobot Packbot. Actually, there are several models of Packbot, but the most popular job for these remote controlled vehicles (that look like a miniature tank, with an extendable arm where the turret should be) is checking out possible roadside bombs, or booby traps, or the insides of caves or buildings believed to hold hostile gunmen. For over a decade, there have been larger (over a hundred pounds) remote control vehicles like this for bomb squads. But better designs, and smaller electronics, have made the "man-portable" (under 40 pounds) units possible. Two years ago, there were several different MTRS systems in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the iRobot equipment has emerged as the most popular, and most effective. This means troops no longer have to get close to possible bombs, and risk getting blown up when nearby terrorists detonate the device. The MTRS has become very popular with the troops, and saved many lives. The Packbots proved very user friendly and reliable, so now over a thousand of the $115,000 MTRS units are on order.


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close