Navy looks to build its own version of Army’s bomb disposal robot

By Nick Wilson / November 16, 2023 at 12:40 PM

The Navy plans to establish its own variant of the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II, a remotely operated platform used to detect and dispose of landmines and other explosives, according to a request for information posted earlier this month.

“The U.S. Navy has decided to establish a stand-alone configuration of the MTRS II system from the U.S. Army Program of Record,” the notice states. “The purpose of this separate configuration is to address Navy specific user requirements which include integration of the Flexible Cyber Secure Radio (FlexCSR).”

The notice asks interested vendors to detail their approach to “supporting government efforts to integrate FlexCSR system into the MTRS II systems” and “supporting government with integrating any Risk Management Framework security controls that are required to establish the Authority to Operate for the Navy configuration.”

In April, The Navy awarded a five-year, $55 million contract for FlexCRS radios to contractor Tomahawk Robotics.

While MTRS Inc. II is an Army program of record, the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force also employ the platform. Contractor Teledyne FLIR was selected to build the system in 2017, and in June 2023 announced it had delivered 1,000 MTRS Inc. II units to the U.S. military. The company has received orders for more than 1,800 systems totaling over $250 million, the notice adds.

The 160-pound robot is equipped with a visual and thermal camera and a robotic arm with a reach of six feet. It is controlled by a remote operator using a handheld controller. In addition to ordinance disposal, the system can be equipped with “different sensors and payloads” for other missions including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, according to the system’s maker.