US Army Getting Robotic Squad Support Drone Vehicles

The US Army has ordered 624 Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport, or SMET, from General Dynamics Land Systems. The $162.4 million contract kicks off the eventual 624 SMETs order for the Army. The land drone units will be deployed by 2021.

The land drones will be unmanned and optionally manned and are able to carry 1,000 pounds. They can travel over a distance of 60 miles in a 72-hour period while also providing 3kw of power while stationary and 1kw while moving for charging equipment and batteries.

23 thoughts on “US Army Getting Robotic Squad Support Drone Vehicles”

  1. Looks like a glorified $20K rzr side x side with a pop riveted body designed to patrol neighborhood streets and confront civilians. Too big a platform to enter buildings and too vulnerable for any true combat zone.

  2. The Humvee was also designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the military. It’s just that the military changed their requirements from “light, un-armoured off-road vehicle” to “but it also needs to be armoured”.

    There was a lot of criticism poured on the Humvee for not being an armoured personnel carrier, but it was designed to replace the Jeep. When it first came out all the criticism was that it was too big and heavy.

  3. One obvious idea is drop by an bomber inside Iran as resistance cell. Something who can break down highways or disable heavy industry.
    Or how does terrorism feel pointed at you and focused on your soft points.

  4. That SMET may have tracks, but that does not make it a tank. Yes, the JLTV will go over 7,000 miles without issues on average. About twice as far as the Hummer. Way past the requirement. Still, I don’t think that is a high bar. But, they can probably build on that, and make it even better. It can certainly mount a variety of weapons on top…anything the SMET can.
    You really want to be on foot with a remote control…where anyone can see and shot you? Or would you rather be in your cool JLTV with its duel AC, and big remote controlled machine gun on the roof? Or maybe I should be asking your Mom and Pop…for all I know…you are looking forward to getting a purple heart…and a pimp limp.

  5. I can think of a few situations where such a vehicle could prove highly advantageous…so long as it had a 240 mounted. Not sure how much load will be offloaded, they’ll just make you carry more into the field. This thing is noisy. Sounds like cheap straight cut gears. Could they not spring for helical cut gears to make it a little less conspicuous in the noise dept.?

  6. A lot of the price is for intentionally farming everything out to 30 different States. That greatly increases costs bit insures Congress will keep signing the check.

  7. You probably need at minimum 4 times the thickness. And most of the strength of the Cybertruck is on the sides and top. So the bottom would need a lot of reinforcement. Actually, the JLTV is very impressive off road. You can almost fall asleep going through moguls. They just need the price to come down to what the military asked for. Something like $240,000.

  8. Pffft…
    That thing can be rendered useless by a paintball gun or laser pointer.
    Those drones need eyelids.

  9. Maybe too dangerous for a human? I’m hoping these vehicles get bigger in the future maybe to the point where we can start converting humvees to operate autonomously. I’d like to see some of the production ATV’s become robotic pack mules for the military.

  10. By the time it passes milspec it would likely be just as expensive, probably moreso than the jltv they selected. Uparmoured Humvees cost just as much but the jltv is designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the military.

  11. I don’t get the point of the SMET. Since it is on continuous tracks, it’s better able to cross rough terrain than a wheeled transports, but is no match for human mobility. So what is the point? If you are confined to roads, why not just bring a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as “Mindbreaker” suggests?

  12. I don’t think you ever drove one of these, I was apart of the Marines brought in to test and the JLTV can take serious punishment. This baby is the size of a humvee but is way more durable, and these things are transports and not tanks buddy.

  13. Government requirements naturally increase the cost of any acquisition.
    Gov will own source code and IT hurdles are pretty high.

  14. That pic always reminds me of the Stephen King novel ‘Trucks’.
    Later turned into the movie ‘Maximum Overdrive’.

  15. Tesla should make a cybertruck with 2 layers of their ultra hard cold rolled stainless steel. That would likely stop rifle rounds, throw in some bullet proof glass, and You could have a JLTV with 500 mile range, for half the price of the Oshkosh JLTV.

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