FLIR Systems bags US Army contract for Kobra robot under CRS-H program


FLIR Systems said that its Kobra robot has been selected for the US Army’s Common Robotic System-Heavy (CRS-H) program under a five-year production contract worth up to $109 million.

Under the contract, the Oregon-based industrial technology company will build more than 350 unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

Through the CRS-H program, the US Army will get a ‘program of record’ to build and maintain a fleet of large UGVs for years to come.

Robots to be built under the CRS-H platform will weigh up to 700 pounds.

The robots will be used by the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units to carry out a variety of missions like disarming vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), unexploded ordnance, or associated heavy-duty tasks. A range of sensors and payloads can also be added to the unmanned ground vehicle to support other missions, said FLIR Systems.

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Jim Cannon – president and CEO at FLIR Systems said: “We are pleased to be selected for the U.S. Army’s CRS-H program and deliver lifesaving robotic technology to our soldiers.

“This award exemplifies why we acquired Endeavor Robotics earlier this year — to capture strategic programs of record that enable us to integrate advanced solutions for the warfighter, give us the fuel to grow our business, and strengthen our position as a leader in unmanned systems.”

The Kobra robot from FLIR Systems

The Kobra robot from FLIR Systems. Photo courtesy of Business Wire.

The Kobra robot was selected by the US Army following several months and two rounds of testing where it was compared with other vendor systems.

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Entrants were assessed on robot reliability, maneuverability, and usability, and other factors.

In 2017, the US Army selected FLIR Systems’s legacy business – Endeavor Robotics, as its medium-sized provider of UGVs through the Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) contract. FLIR Systems is delivering its Centaur UGV as part of the on-going program.

David Ray – president of the Government and Defense Business Unit at FLIR Systems said: “Our CRS-H platform will give soldiers a powerful, extremely mobile, yet highly transportable UGV, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to keep them out of harm’s way.

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“This win is a testament to our employees who’ve designed such an advanced, multi-mission UGV. We look forward to working with the Army to get this robot into the field and deployed with our warfighters.”

According to FLIR Systems, the Kobra robot provides exceptional strength, power, and payload support in an easy-to-operate robot package. The FLIR robot is said to have a lift capacity of 150 kg and can stretch up to eleven-and-a-half feet to even access hard-to-reach places.

Capable of both indoor and outdoor use, Kobra robot is claimed to maintain its mobility even on tough terrain and can overcome jersey barriers and other obstacles.

Shipments of the Kobra robot will commence in Q2 2020, said the industrial technology company.

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