Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) and its technology partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have been awarded a contract to deliver demonstrations of their highly-automated ground and air resupply network, providing innovative capability based on the latest autonomous technology as part of Project Theseus.
The contract is with Future Capabilities Group within the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) and is the second contract win for MCL and IAI.
Through Project Theseus, the MoD aims to investigate the potential to apply autonomy to the ordering, planning, and delivery of supplies as well as the ability to increase the flow and efficiency of delivery on the battlefield.
This will see MCL and IAI define and deliver an end-to-end, highly automated ground and air resupply network, which is enabled by a logistics information system and is operational 24/7 in all conditions. The capability will be facilitated by land and air Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS), a mission planner, battlespace management applications and logistics information system to provide tactical last-mile resupply to dismounted forces.
The resupply network will incorporate IAI’s REX MK-2 Uncrewed Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to provide robust and reliable means of autonomous delivery, as well as Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and a mission management command control system with autonomous decision-making capability. The solution will also be tasked through a human-portable user interface system, enabling operator intervention if required.
“We’re proud to be working in partnership with IAI to deliver this innovative capability demonstration to the MoD as part of Project Theseus,” said Shane Knight, Managing Director, MCL. “Our combined expertise and knowledge of robotic and autonomous systems are crucial to the creation of the ground and air resupply network. This contract is a clear demonstration of the strength of our partnership with IAI, which we are confident will continue to grow and strengthen throughout the delivery of the Theseus project. It also solidifies our position as a major contractor to the U.K. MoD.”
“IAI looks forward to cooperating with MCL to provide this demonstration to the U.K. MoD as part of Project Theseus,” said Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI. “Together IAI and MCL have a superior combined knowledge of autonomous land robotic systems to support advanced ground and air resupply networks. This cooperation with MCL further demonstrates the strength of IAI and the UK defence industries’ collaborations. IAI is proud to collaborate with our UK partner, to supply advanced combat solutions, and further the company’s presence in the region as part of our overarching strategy.”
The two companies will also have to deliver improvements to the system throughout the contract, with the improvements and final demonstration taking place in early 2022.