In an effort to rapidly modernize before the next large-scale military conflict, the US Army has purchased 624 robotic mules from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), a deal worth more than $162 million, reported Defense Blog.
GDLS' MUTT (Multi-Utility Tactical Transport) is designed to reduce a soldier's load by carrying gear on an 8x8 unmanned ATV.
According to Army officials, MUTT can haul up to 1,000 pounds of gear and is designed to follow infantry soldiers on the battlefield, through some of the harshest terrains.
Infantry soldiers carry between 60-120 pounds of gear, and MUTT can alleviate nearly 80% of the weight, which allows soldiers to move swiftly across the battlefield.
MUTT comes in several sizes: tracked, 6x6, and 8x8. It measures 9 feet long by 5 feet wide, can carry 1,000 pounds of gear, and also provide 3,000 watts of power, in addition to a 60-mile range.
Besides hauling soldiers' heavy gear packs, MUTT can hold anti-tank missiles and or spare ammunition.
Several other uses include evacuating wounded soldiers from frontlines, surveillance missions with high-tech sensors, and it can even be outfitted with machine guns, anti-tank missiles, and or grenade launchers to conduct attack missions.
In 2H18, soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, were given several MUTTs for a field training exercise that simulated warzone like conditions.
"It's a huge upgrade for the dismounted reconnaissance troop. I picked up five casualties in one night at different locations with this vehicle [MUTT] that I wouldn't have been able to do. I'd have been able to make it to maybe two," said 1st Sgt. Joshua Richards, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
The next big push with the Army are robots for the modern battlefield. Before you know it, these artificially intelligent machines will be making war decessions without any or limited input from humans. The rise of the terminator is happening.