Santa Bárbara Sistemas works on remote driving kit for Pizarro armored vehicle

According to B. Carrasco in Infodefensa, the Spanish company Santa Bárbara Sistemas is working on a project in collaboration with Sener Aeroespacial for the installation of a remote driving system in a Pizarro-type vehicle.
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The program to transform a Pizarro fighting vehicle into an optionally manned platform using a specific remote driving kit is already being developed on a test platform from Santa Bárbara Sistemas (Picture source: Santa Bárbara Sistemas)

In a workshop on unmanned vehicles (UGV) organized by the Spanish Army and DGAM, the company speaker David Robles explained that this program seeks to transform a tracked vehicle into an optionally manned platform using a specific remote driving kit. The project is already being developed on a test platform from Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Infodefensa reports. Robles explained that the kit is integrated into the data distribution system designed by the company and then a vehicle passes by to perform a test in a dynamic operating environment.

Pizarro is the Spanish version of ASCOD tracked armored fighting vehicle that was jointly produced by Austrian Company Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Spanish company General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas. The vehicle is also in service with the Austrian army under the name of Ulan. The Pizarro is fitted with a two-man turret armed with a 30mm dual-feed, gas-operated Mauser mk30-2 automatic cannon with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. It has a crew of three and the troops compartment at the rear can accommodate eight infantrymen. The hull and the turret of the Pizarro are made from all-welded steel armor that provides protection against the firing of small arms 14.5mm armor-piercing incendiary rounds at the front of the chassis and 7.62mm all around the vehicle.

Santa Bárbara Sistemas also has another line open for automation. At the request of the Spanish Army Logistics Support Command (MALE), the company is involved in another initiative together with Sener as well and the Automotive Research Institute (Insia) to integrate the Remote Drive system in the future Castor vehicle of sappers of the Spanish ground force. The goal is to develop a function where the vehicle can position itself and remotely launch an explosive hose to demine a way, clearing it for convoys. The Remote Drive is a remote control system designed by Insia on a Vamtac that allows vehicles to become autonomous platforms.

SBS is also immersed in a third project for the development of a UGV from its Mutt platform. In this regard, it has an agreement with Escribano to install two payloads on this platform: the Guardian 2.0 remotely controlled turret and the Oteos electro-optical system, and is in talks with Tecnalia to incorporate robotic arms and NBC sensors, Carrasco concludes.


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