An unmanned logistics system can carry heavy loads across a wide variety of rough terrain including forest, arctic, desert, and jungle.
The information came to light when Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, asked in Parliament:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has considered the potential merits of acquiring the capabilities currently being examined by the US Army’s Squad-Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) programme.”
Guto Bebb, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, replied:
“We are actively engaged in the assessment of requirements and solutions for unmanned systems for the resupply of frontline troops. While we are not currently considering the acquisition of the US Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) programme, other work is ongoing to develop similar capabilities.
The most promising of these will be evaluated during the British Army’s Exercise Autonomous Warrior (Land) later this year.”
The US project has moved into the experimentation phase with thr Squad Manoeuvre Equipment Transport (SMET) system as the country seeks to finally determine if such a capability is worthwhile.
“We’re still struggling to understand this device and what we want it to do for us,” Lieutenant Colonel Bill Venable, the US Army’s chief for its Electronics and Special Developments Branch.
The US plans to purchase 80 in various configurations and install them in brigade combat teams across the army, Lt Col Venable said.