50-Caliber M2 Wielding CaMEL
Northrop display M2 50-Caliber wielding CaMEL UGV…
Northrop Grumman recently showed off what can only be describes as the most fearsome gun-wielding robot to-date, at the recent Association of the U.S. Army’s Washington conference, 24th Oct.
The armed UGV is basically Northrop’s CaMEL motorized platform, stylishly fitted with a .50-caliber HellFire M2 machine gun.
.50 Caliber CaMEL
The 60-inch treaded CaMEL ‘bot was originally designed to help troops carry their gear – hence the name ‘Carry-all Mechanized Equipment Landrover ( CaMEL).’ It can carry up to 1,200 pounds at a speed of 7 mph.
This is not the first time someone has armed a ‘bot with HellFire missiles, but it is the first system to incorporate a remote touch-screen interface – the same interface used by the CaMEL.
Northrop has sold more than 60 of its standard CaMEL UGVs to the Israeli military; and more recently the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning also expressed an interest in ‘bot.
However the company did say there were no immediate plans to sell its Hell Fire equipped CaMEL, only that it was built to help attract customers to its booth.
The future of gun wielding ‘bots such as doesn’t look very promising either. In 2007, three SWORDS UGVs armed with M249 light machine guns were deployed in Iraq. Unfortunately, technical malfunctions and a bunch of rumors lead to the armed SWORDS bots being dropped by the Army. There has since been no demand for such devices since.
While there’s nothing new about Northrop’s customer attracting ploy, there’s always something special about a 50 caliber gun-wielding bot.
- Spencer Ackerman: Northrop Arms Its Robot Pack Mule With Big Gun. Danger Room, Wired, 10/27/2010.
- David Hambling: Armed Robots Go Into Action. Danger Room, Wired, 09/10/2009.