US Army Future Tech
April 9, 2018
In the fields here March 28, U.S. and
British troops and Defense Department personnel watched as several new
unmanned aerial tools were explained and demonstrated during a
multinational joint equipment training brief. Kneeling soldier watches a
drone in flight.
Army Pvt. Jonathan Jackson, a
cannon crew member assigned to the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion,
launches a Puma aviation system during a multinational joint equipment
training brief in Grafenwoehr, Germany, April 2, 2018. The Puma was
demonstrated ahead of a scheduled Robotic Complex Breach Concept
demonstration. The Robotic Complex Breach Concept includes the
employment of robotic and autonomous systems in intelligence,
suppression, obscuration and reduction.
Led by a group of civilians from the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center,
the training brief served as a precursor to a scheduled Robotic Complex
Breach Concept demonstration later this week. That demonstration will
see the use of new air and ground equipment for the first time by
The unmanned aerial capabilities on display included the Lethal
Miniature Aerial Missile System, Puma and Instant Eye, which allows
soldiers to evaluate and detect hazards from a safe distance.
“The aviation assets are invaluable,” said Army Staff Sgt. Brian Logan,
a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist. “One of the
aviation systems, the Instant Eye, can actually detect hazardous
exposure such as chemical or biological threats. The best way to prevent
a CBRN injury is avoidance, and that’s what these assets allow us to do
-- avoid unnecessary exposure.”
Another aerial asset, the Puma system, is a small unmanned aircraft that
gives soldiers the ability to reconnoiter an area and capture photos and
other mission-enhancing abilities without placing anyone in harm’s way.
“The Puma system allows soldiers to perform many forms of
reconnaissance,” said Kenneth Martin, an operator of the Puma system.
“Using a change-detection software, this aircraft can identify any
changes made to a route or road over a period of time, to help identify
In addition to aerial assets being used for reconnaissance, the LMAMS
gives soldiers the capability to attack enemy targets from a safe
distance that may not be in visual range.
LMAMS is a direct-fire missile used for neutralizing enemy targets or
soft-shell vehicles,” said Beler Watts, a spokesman for the LMAMS. “This
system helps our service members reach threats that the standard weapon
can’t reach with a very low collateral damage footprint.”
Select service members who will be participating in the breach exercise
had the opportunity to attend a week-long course to better understand
the capabilities of the aviation assets prior to the demonstration.
“After attending the course and finding out exactly what these systems
can do, I am impressed,” said Army Spc. Jackson Thomas, an intelligence
analyst assigned to 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion. “Having the ability
to capture images of our routes and identify any disturbed land that
could indicate possible hazards saves not only lives, but other assets
and equipment to keep our force effective.”