Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle
|Crew||0 (Remotely operated)|
|Armour and armament|
|Main armament||M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M240G Medium Machine Gun, 9 mm Uzi, or Anti-Personnel/Obstacle Breaching System|
The Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle (TUGV) program was developed in order to support the United States Marine Corps conduct of Ship To Object Maneuver (STOM) missions through the use of a medium sized, robotic system to minimize risks and eliminate threats to Marines during conflict. The Gladiator is able to perform surveillance, reconnaissance, assault and breaching missions within its basic technical configuration.
- Utilize remote imagery software to relay images, including day and night images, and thermal images.
- Battlefield support, including surveillance, reconnaissance, assault and breaching missions.
- Modular design to allow for the attachment of standard interfaces for mission payloads (for example electric megaphone and/or siren/dazzler/tear-gas generator/searchlight sub-system[s]).
- Armored to remain operational after being assaulted with ammunition up to 7.62mm rounds.
The Gladiator Program is a U. S. Marine Corps initiative based on the Joint Army-Marine Corps Tactical Unmanned Vehicle (TUV) ORD originated by the Infantry School. MNS INT 12.1.1 dated 4 November 1993 validated the need for a tactical unmanned ground vehicle system and the Army approved the ORD in August 1995 and by the Marine Corps in May 1996.
Existing unmanned vehicles contained several deficiencies which caused both Army and Marine Corps developers to reevaluate design aspects. Developments of the Gladiator allow it to support dismounted infantry and aid in scout/surveillance missions. Upon the approval of the new design on February 7, 2005, Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Consortium and United Defense Industries was awarded a contract for over $26 million for the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Gladiator.
The Gladiator was designed with the intent to be easily transported to different parts of the battlefield. Rated for many types of environments, the Gladiator will enhance the ability of Marines to accomplish assigned mission tasks. The purpose of the Gladiator will be to operate just forward of the Marine units, performing basic scouting/surveillance, obstacle breaching, and reconnaissance tasks while permitting the operator to remain out of the line of danger.
The Gladiator TUGV is planned as a robust, compact, unmanned, tele-operated/semi-autonomous, multi-purpose ground reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) vehicle system possessing a scouting and direct engagement capability. It will provide the armed forces with remote reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition, nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance, obstacle breaching, and direct fire capability to neutralize threats and reduce risk to the warfighter. The TUGV system will be utilized by infantry battalions and combat engineer companies. It will be strategically, operationally, and tactically deployable worldwide for ground, aircraft and sea transport missions
The Gladiator will be configured such that it can be considered a Mobile Base Unit, able to carry extra ammunition while at the same time maintaining the above mentioned capabilities. Due to its unmanned nature, each Gladiator is equipped with a remote control unit capable of displaying mission data, operational status and mission surveillance. The exchange between the Gladiator and the remote control unit is expected to be transmitted through a non-tethered military link.
As of June 2004[update] the TUGV was classified as "under development."