UK military orders bomb-disposing robots from Tewkesbury-based defence firm

Global defence and cyber security firm L3Harris Technologies, which has a base in Tewkesbury, is supplying the Ministry of Defence with up to 50 agile bomb-disposing robots — specially designed to deal with explosive threats with human-like precision.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
L3Harris Technologies, which has a base in Tewkesbury, is supplying the UK Ministry of Defence with up to 50 medium-sized bomb-disposing robots, to help mitigate explosive threats in confined urban areas. Image © L3Harris

The UK Ministry of Defence has ordered a fleet of bomb-disposing robots from L3Harris Technologies, the parent company of Tewkesbury-based L3Harris TRL Technology.

Agile, versatile and adept at dealing with threats in built-up spaces, these new robots will enhance the UK military's explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) capabilities by allowing operators to safely access and mitigate explosive threats in confined urban areas.

L3Harris was selected by the Ministry of Defence to deliver a $18 million (£14.2 million) contract for up to 50 of the medium-sized robots, as well as in-country support, maintenance and training.

This new contract follows the successful delivery of L3Harris's Project STARTER programme, which replaced the Ministry of Defence's legacy fleet of large EOD robots with 122 T7™ robots that have been fully operational since 2019.

Supercharging the British Army's EOD capabilities even further, the new fleet of T4 robots will offer many of the same features as the T7s, but in a more compact model better suited to dealing with threats in tight urban spaces.

Flexible in design with human-like precision, the robots have advanced haptick feedback technology that allows operators to feel exactly what the robotic arm can feel — enabling them to access, inspect and defeat explosive threats quickly and easily, at a safe distance.

Lieutenant General Simon Hamilton, director general land for Defence, Equipment and Support, said: 'Like the T7, the T4 robots will play an integral role in enhancing the EOD capabilities leveraged by the British Army.

'Critical to the MOD's land modernisation ambitions is the prioritisation of agile, modular and highly capable technology built to tackle the demands of the future threat environment. The versatile T4 is a significant step forward in achieving this.'

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