Rheinmetall takes over Canadian company Provectus Robotics Solutions
The takeover of the Canadian company Provectus Robotics Solutions expands Rheinmetall’s technological capabilities in the field of robotics and autonomous driving. In the future, both halves of the Group – Automotive and Defence – will benefit from the know-how of the newly acquired robotics specialist. Automation and digitization are among the vital group-spanning technology clusters which Rheinmetall is systematically working on expanding, concentrating knowledge and capacities in order to exploit additional future growth potential.
Effective 1 June 2019, Rheinmetall Canada Inc., a subsidiary of the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group, took over a 100% stake in the Ottawa-based company. Founded in 2010, Provectus Robotics Solutions is a young company specializing in the development of advanced robotic systems and software. Though now owned by Rheinmetall Canada, Provectus will continue to operate under its previous managing director, Paul Rocco.
In recent product presentations, Rheinmetall has generated great interest with its Mission Master unmanned multi-mission vehicle, which is based on Provectus technology, modified for military use by Rheinmetall Canada. Everything points to unmanned ground vehicles playing an increasingly important role in future military operations on land, much like unmanned air vehicles in an aviation context. Some will serve in an unarmed logistic or reconnaissance role; others will function as mobile weapon platforms.
“We have already been working closely with Provectus in our unmanned ground vehicle project. This vertical integration gives us a decisive advantage in the field of autonomous mobility technology", said Stéphane Oehrli, president and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada. “Since this capacity is also a key enabler for the Automotive division, the whole Rheinmetall Group will hence benefit from Provectus’ expertise. The automation of other Rheinmetall mobile platforms is actually an innovation we are already thinking of.”
As Paul Rocco from Provectus, explains, “Rheinmetall Canada is the ideal platform for accelerating our growth while simultaneously strengthening our presence in Canada as well as internationally. This is a unique opportunity for the Provectus team to significantly improve our market potential in the world of autonomous driving and to take advantage of new opportunities.”
The buyout is part of Rheinmetall’s strategy of positioning itself as a preferred supplier of cutting-edge technology – around the world but particularly in Canada, where the Group is a longstanding, tried-and-tested partner of the country’s armed forces.
Rheinmetall is eager to apply expertise from Provectus Robotics Solutions in implementing ISTAR, a major project of the Canadian armed forces now underway. (The acronym ISTAR stands for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.)
The Mission Master Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)
Rheinmetall’s Mission Master opens up a variety of new possibilities for modern military commanders. Depending on the variant, it can take on transport tasks or be used to protect troops deployed on the ground as well as in a surveillance and reconnaissance role. The Rheinmetall Mission Master can be deployed in places that are difficult to access, whether operating autonomously or serving in ‘mule’ mode, faithfully following its human operator.
It provides mechanized and non-mechanized forces with an added measure of safety and security, boosting their effectiveness and keeping them as far as possible out of harm’s way.
The armed variant minimizes the risk to deployed forces while simultaneously augmenting the combat effectiveness of dismounted troops by providing immediate fire support. In weapon carrier mode, the Mission Master can operate autonomously, performing high-risk missions on the battlefield. Rheinmetall recently unveiled the new Mission Master Protection, which features a weapon station armed with a 70mm rocket launcher, making the vehicle a major force multiplier.