UK Royal Navy Divers have received the new remote-controlled explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) called CUTLASS, to help detect and clear hidden improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Following its delivery, the £1m Northrop Grumman-built robot was tested by the Southern Diving Group (SDG) to validate its capabilities.
During the Naval Bomb Disposal capability exercise, conducted within HM Naval Base, Devonport, UK, CUTLASS demonstrated its ability in a simulated terrorist car bomb scenario.
Southern Dive Unit 1 officer in charge lieutenant commander Ross Balfour said that the new vehicle, controlled via a computer, features advanced optics to enable a high-level of situational awareness of its surrounding area and any device.
Using its integrated three-fingered advanced gripper-equipped manipulator arm and disruptive weapons, the bomb disposal robot can quickly respond to IED threats.
"The divers demonstrated their comprehensive underwater ability using the 7m deep training tank with divers using closed-circuit re-breathing equipment, lifting and moving a practice bomb with a remote airbag and attaching dummy explosive charges to simulate rendering it safe," Balfour added.
Designed for efficient detection and disposal of both vehicle-borne and IEDs from safer distances in all types of terrain and weather conditions, the six-wheeled next-generation UGV can accommodate a broad spectrum of payloads, sensors and tools.
"CUTLASS represents a major improvement in our explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) capability, whilst improving safety for the general public and our EOD operators," Balfour said.
Image: A Royal Navy personal operating Cutlass bomb disposal vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.