U.S. Marines to Test South Korea’s New Combat UGV

This is the first time a South Korean-developed military unmanned vehicle has been selected by the U.S. Army for field test evaluation

Photo Credit: Hanwha Aerospace

South Korean Hanwha announced that its Arion-SMET light combat unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV( will undergo field tests at the U.S. Marine Corps training center.

According to Hanwha, the company has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for the Foreign Comparative Performance Test (FCT) project. The main test of the Arion-SMET will be conducted at the Marine Corps Training Center in Hawaii over three weeks, starting in early December.

The Defense Blog notes that the FCT is a program promoted by the U.S. DoD to evaluate the best technologies of allied defense companies around the world and connect them with development and acquisition projects promoted by the U.S. military. U.S. defense officials have evaluated more than 300 foreign technologies, and the U.S. military conducted an examination and finally selected 10 of them to proceed with the project.

Contingent upon the test evaluation’s successful completion, the U.S. Department of Defense will decide whether to move ahead with related acquisition projects.

The field test will be conducted near the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Hawaii, where the Arion-SMET is tasked with transporting fuel, food and water, patients, and repair parts from a designated location to a certain distance away.

Arion-SMET was selected for the FCT project by the U.S. DoD in October of last year and began demonstrating equipment for the U.S. Forces in Korea. This is the first time a South Korean-developed military unmanned vehicle has been selected for the FCT task.

The two-ton Arion-SMET vehicle is a 6×6 multipurpose unmanned vehicle with a maximum speed of 43km/h, a range of 100km, and a payload of 550kg.

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