Qinetiq is exhibiting an armed version of its Talon explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot at the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) Exhibition currently being held at London’s ExCel centre.
Talon robots are produced by Qinetiq subsidiary, Foster-Miller. The variant being showcased is dubbed SWORD (special weapons observation reconnaissance direct-action system) and can be fitted with either an M240 or M249 machine gun or a Barrett .50 calibre rifle for armed reconnaissance missions.
According to Qinetiq, Talon robots are a family of powerful, durable, lightweight, remotely operated, and tracked vehicles that enable the operator to be positioned up to a kilometre away from the danger point. Talon robots are widely used for EOD, reconnaissance, communications, sensing, security, and defence and rescue operations.
Qinetiq has supplied several SWORDS variant prototype systems to the US Army ARDEC (Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center) for evaluation. Three of these systems have completed extensive testing with the 3rd Infantry Division and are being deployed to Iraq. Additional systems, including a 40mm grenade launcher and an anti-tank rocket launcher, are currently being evaluated by military units in the US and elsewhere.