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French army orders Probot UGVs from Israeli company Roboteam.

| 2019

The recently created Defense Innovation Agency (AID) is preparing to notify a contract to the Israeli company Roboteam for five to eight ground robots to be deployed by the French army in the Sahel. French manufacturers denounce a biased competition, reports Vincent Lamigeon on Challenges.

The French army orders Probot UGVs from the Israeli company Roboteam 1
Probot in Medevac role (Picture source: Roboteam)

The Probot all-terrain tactical logistics platform carries up to 1,650 lbs of supplies, equipment or materials. It can easily climb stairs and maneuver with precision in confined areas, which all contributes to a lighter and more effective ground force. In challenging terrain and in urban settings, Probot can locate and access injured casualties and ferry them to safety. With an extra-heavy payload capacity, Probot can remotely evacuate multiple casualties to help keep public safety and law enforcement personnel out of harm’s way. This is the first big contract for the brand new Defense Innovation Agency (AID). It is already disputed. The AID, which is attached to the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), is preparing to notify the Israeli company Roboteam by the end of the year of a contract for 5 to 8 Probot UGVs, estimated at over a million euros. These UGVs (mules), dedicated to transporting equipment and evacuating the wounded, will be deployed in the Sahel in the summer of 2020 for experiments as part of Operation Barkhane against islamist terrorist groups.

The French army orders Probot UGVs from the Israeli company Roboteam 2
To enhance Probot's maneuverability, its wheels can be fitted with tracks (Picture source: Roboteam)

Roboteam, associated for the occasion with the French group GACI, was preferred to the best French defense industrialists: the CNIM group associated with the Estonian Milrem, Arquus allied with the Franco-German research institute Saint-Louis, Safran, and Nexter associated with La Rochelle industrialist Shark Robotics. "This contract relates to a technical experiment, it does not prejudge in any way the result of subsequent calls for tenders," commented a close associate of AID, Vincent Lamigeon reports.

The French army orders Probot UGVs from the Israeli company Roboteam 3
The ROCU-7 is an all-weather controller whose easy-to-master user interface enables a single operator to control several unmanned systems under any lighting conditions (Picture source: Roboteam)


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