QinetiQ readies more robots for battle

QinetiQ North America will supply an unspecified number of additional Talon robots and replacement parts for use in Iraq and Afghanistan under a new $400 million Navy contract.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is a follow-on award to the $150 million IDIQ contract awarded to QinetiQ Technology Solutions Group subsidiary Foster-Miller in 2007 by the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office and administered by the Naval Air Warfare Training Systems Division.

Talon military robots are lightweight tracked vehicles used primarily to assist military personnel with the dangerous job of detecting and disabling improvised explosive devices. The robots have been used in more than 80,000 counter-IED missions to date, the company said.

Talon robots were the first military robots sent into Afghanistan against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in February 2002. They were also on the ground in Kuwait when coalition forces gathered in 2003 and have been in Iraq ever since. Over 2,000 Talon robots are deployed worldwide.

QinetiQ NA, based in McLean, Va., ranks No. 45 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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