General Dynamics Awarded $40 Million Army Contract to Produce Robotic Security Vehicles
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Feb 26, 2008
The U.S. Army has awarded General Dynamics Robotic Systems an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a total potential value of $40 million for production of the robotic Mobile Detection and Assessment and Response System (MDARS). General Dynamics Robotic Systems is a part of General Dynamics Land Systems (Sterling Heights, Mich.), a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

General Dynamics Robotic Systems will manufacture the semi-autonomous security vehicles and provide spare parts, training and technical services for a five-year period. The work will be done at its Westminster, Md., production facility.

Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada will receive the first four robotic security vehicles produced under this program. Since 2005, the MDARS demonstration vehicles have been evaluated at the depot logging more than 8,000 hours and 28,000 miles of service.

MDARS autonomously conducts surveillance activities including checking for intruders, remotely investigating alarm sources, monitoring high-value inventory and assessing facility barriers, such as the doors of storage bunkers. MDARS is a diesel-powered, 4-wheel hydrostatic-drive vehicle, with a payload capacity of 500 lbs. The vehicle is equipped with a real-time obstacle avoidance system and 360-degree sensors. It can operate for 16 hours without refueling and at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.

“General Dynamics Robotic Systems has taken MDARS from concept to full-scale production,” said Phil Cory, vice president, General Dynamics Robotic Systems. “MDARS will minimize numerous physical burdens to Hawthorne’s human security force while reducing their exposure to potentially deadly situations.”

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 83,500 people worldwide and reported 2007 revenues of $27.2 billion. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at http://www.generaldynamics.com.

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