Boeing and partner iRobot Corp. recently announced that they won an initial contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide small unmanned ground vehicles (SUGVs) to its explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team. The contract calls for as many as 70 model 310 SUGV robots, with an initial value of $3.84 million. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract will run through September 2012.
"Boeing and iRobot are pleased to expand our customer base to the U.S. Air Force, placing this key technology into the hands of airmen around the world," says Bob DaLee, Robotics program manager, Boeing Network & Tactical Systems. "The 310 SUGV system will provide the Air Force with the capability that our current customers have come to rely on in dealing with dangerous situations in war zones."
"Robots like the 310 SUGV have already proven their worth on today's battlefield," says Robert Moses, president of iRobot's Government and Industrial division. "Every day, the military is finding new ways to implement this game-changing technology, all in an effort to increase mission success and keep warfighters safe."
Boeing and iRobot developed the SUGV family of vehicles under a strategic alliance that began in 2007. It is designed to give warfighters real-time awareness of critical situations and to allow them to complete missions from safe standoff distances. It is ideal for a variety of mission types, including EOD, route clearance, and reconnaissance. As the prime contractor, Boeing provides program management, contracts, and quality-control support from offices in Huntsville. iRobot is responsible for engineering, manufacturing, training, and logistics services, with the majority of work conducted in Bedford, Mass.