Australian firms Black Sky Aerospace and Funnel Web Systems have revealed a new armed ground robot called the Funnel Web, with Ukraine showing interest as a potential customer. The Funnel Web is a remotely-operated portable unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that allows soldiers to launch missiles without exposing themselves to counter-battery fire.
According to Black Sky’s CEO Blake Nikolic, while people often view robots as sensor platforms or load carriers, they have now given them “fangs.” The Funnel Web is designed to be used in situations where launching a missile from a particular location may put soldiers at risk or where access may be restricted. The UGV can push into new areas and wait for targets to appear, and can be command-launched remotely.
The highly rugged and mobile UGV is controlled by a handheld device, and it features a camera that relays video to the controllers to determine when to launch a weapon. Currently, it can fire 60mm by 900mm munitions, and there are plans to develop new variants that can fire different calibers.
Ukrainian defense representatives have been closely monitoring the development of the system and have expressed plans to potentially deploy it in the ongoing war. Funnel Web Systems’ head of systems engineering, Andre Preller, emphasized the need for an innovation cycle that can react quickly to evolving threats and opportunities, stating that they excel at shortening the innovation cycle to just three weeks.
The Funnel Web UGV presents a significant advancement in military technology, providing soldiers with a safer way to launch missiles in challenging environments. It has the potential to save lives and reduce risks for military operations. With Ukraine considering the deployment of this system, it highlights the importance of staying agile and adapting to evolving threats in modern warfare.
– The Sun