The U.S. Marine Corps is looking into unmanned systems with firepower and pocket-size surveillance functions as potential combat and surveillance support to ground troops, the Marine Corps Times reported Jan. 30.
Joshua Stewart writes that the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is particularly interested in QinetiQ‘s Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System and Prox Dynamics‘ PD-100 Black Hornet presented at last month’s Marine West defense expo.
Tim Brooks, an applications engineer at the branch’s Warfighting Lab, said that the lab is testing the systems’ potential capability to support Marine Corps operations such as patrols.
MAARS is built to carry both a medium-size machine gun and a quad 40mm M203 grenade launcher to provide firepower and contains thermal and video cameras for surveillance, the report said.
The Black Hornet micro-drone is designed to fly near ground level and has versions that work to capture full-motion video in the daytime and thermal images at night, Stewart reports.