The French defense procurement agency (DGA) on December 18, 2019 took delivery of the first five NERVA-LG extended range reconnaissance micro-robots. They have already been transferred to the Army Technical Section (STAT) for further assessment in order to refine the concept of employment before being put into the forces, according to a statement from the DGA.
These robots will better protect soldiers on the battlefield regardless of the type of terrain thanks to their remote intervention capabilities.
The 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) provides for the transformation and modernization of land force equipment with, in particular, the first deliveries of the SCORPION program. 92 Griffon armored vehicles have already been delivered in 2019. The deliveries of Jaguar armored vehicles from 2020 and Serval from 2022 will follow.
These robots are capable of evolving independently to listen, see and record on the battlefield. Weighing about 5 kg, they are compact, discreet and can work in a network.
They will be operated by a single soldier, quickly and easily. Their excellent mobility and obstacle clearance capabilities, as well as their ability to map the environment in which they operate, will allow them to safely explore potentially dangerous environments for combatants.
To conduct this operation in a short timeframe, the DGA in 2018 initiated a competitive dialogue including an equipment assessment phase, carried out by its technical teams and also involving the French Army.
These robots are part of a first global order for 56 micro-robots placed by the DGA with the NEXTER company partnered with ECA. Other robots will be delivered in 2020: 5 additional NERVA-LGs, ten NERVA-S for small footprint recognition (3 kg), and 36 NERVA-XX / CAMELEON-LG for combat engineers (12 kg).
NERVA-LG extended recognition micro-robots
The three types of remotely-operated ground micro-robots (NERVA–LG, NERVA-S and NERVA / CAMELEON) can be equipped with different modules making them adaptable to several types of mission. Combat engineers and infantry will use them to collect front-line intelligence on an ad hoc basis while remaining at a distance.
The two largest robots in the range have the ability to return autonomously to a predetermined point or to carry out surveillance rounds on predefined trajectories. All three systems have evolutionary capacities to integrate new autonomy, ergonomics or artificial intelligence technologies into the future.