Northrop Grumman, along with the US Navy, has successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) for increment one of the advanced explosive ordnance disposal robotic system (AEODRS) programme.

The AEODRS programme aims to develop interoperable and interchangeable unmanned ground vehicle systems.

Increment one is the dismounted operations system designed for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) reconnaissance and threat assessment.

"We will continue our close collaboration with the navy and user communities to ensure the delivery of a quality system that meets navy requirements."

Northrop’s design for AEODRS increment one uses a modular, open systems approach that allows the robot to be quickly adapted for a range of mission scenarios.

Assessed by a government team of experts, managers and navy and Marine Corps users, the completion of the CDR helped in determining that the final design for the AEODRS dismounted operations variant is programmatically and technically realistic and achievable.

The CDR also determined that Northrop’s design satisfies cost, schedule and mission performance requirements, and demonstrates the maturity to go ahead with system fabrication, assembly, integration and test.

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Northrop Grumman Mission Systems missile defense and protective systems division vice-president and general manager Dan Verwiel said: "The successful CDR so soon after contract award clearly shows the commitment of the navy and Northrop Grumman team to fill this key gap for EOD robotic operations.

"We will continue our close collaboration with the navy and user communities to ensure the delivery of a quality system that meets navy requirements."

The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded the AEODRS increment one contract to Northrop team, which includes Bokam Engineering, Carnegie Robotics, Harris Corporation, Hunter Defense Technologies, Neya Systems, QinetiQ North America, and Telefactor Robotics.

AEODRS’ back-packable, 35lb increment one system consists of a handheld operator control unit, communications link, mobility capability module, master capability module, power capability module, manipulator capability module, end effector capability module, visual sensors capability module, autonomous behaviours capability module, and other minor components.

Image: Northrop completes CDR of AEODRS increment one system. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corp.