Korea’s Hanwha Début UGV

Hanwha Defense has again displayed its innovation in ground combat systems. At IDEX 2021 it Débuted its Multi-Purpose Unmanned Ground Vehicle highlighted the success presenting the latest military technology.

The MPUGV displayed is a compact 4×4 vehicle. With a weight of 1.5 tons, it is intended to operate either controlled remotely by a human controller, autonomously or using a combination of the two methods. Electric battery powered it has a top speed road speed of 30 km/h and can operate for up to 14 hours on a single charge. Provisions can be provided that will increase its operating time to up to 72 hours.

With a payload capacity of 200 kg (440 lb), Hanwha envisions the MPUGV configured to execute a variety of battlefield missions. These could include reconnaissance and surveillance, logistics/resupply, transport of heavy crew served weapons, casualty evacuation, communications relay, unmanned aerial vehicle platform and accompanying small units with essential equipment.

The MPUGV shown at IDEX is equipped with a 7.62 mm medium machine gun in a remote unmanned weapon station (also a Hanwha development). This station is stabilized for on-the-move firing, automatic target tracking, video sighting, as well as gunfire detection sensors. The later use acoustic sensors to identify and locate a threat and can slew the weapon for engagement.

According to Hanwha the MPUGV has been undergoing field test and evaluation over the past two years in a program conducted by the Republic of Korea Army. It is understood that the vehicles utilized successfully demonstrated a range of task skills essential for battlefield mission use. Capabilities demonstrated included leader/follower movement; self-driving; waypoint navigation; obstacle avoidance; and communication links.

A 6 X 6 version of the MPUGV is scheduled for completion by the Autumn 2021. This vehicle will have greater payload capacity, higher maximum speeds, longer operational range, increased survivability, and broader mission capabilities.

by Stephen W. Miller