Armed Forces

Portable Bomb Disposal Robots For The Polish Army - To Be Acquired Next Year?

The Armament Inspectorate started a procedure, the aim of which is to acquire bomb disposal robots. The procurement is going to be realized between 2016 and 2018 and, in total, 53 EOD/IED mission support robots, also known as BALSA – Light Reconnaissance Robot (LRR), are going to be acquired. The procedure mentioned above is being realized in line with the Public Procurement Law, thus foreign companies may also be involved here.

The tender above is to select the supplier of 53 portable reconnaissance robots which are to be used in order to remotely detect, identify and remove explosives and dangerous materials. According to the technical terms of reference contained in the procurement documentation, “Balsa” light reconnaissance robot is to weigh 15 to 20 kilograms and it is to be carried by a single soldier.

The robot should have good properties within the scope of its mobility, also inside the buildings. The robot package is to include the control panel, a backpack or other dedicated container, the battery charger and the vehicle itself, fitted with a set of interchangeable manipulators and sensors, making it possible to customize the system, as it is going to execute a wide variety of tasks. The above bundle would be complemented with a tool set, and a set of spare parts, along with the technical documentation.

The main tasks undertaken by the “Balsa” robot would include identification of threats in urbanized areas, including buildings, as well as on the side of the roads. The sensors integrated with the robot are to make it possible for the robot to optically and acoustically examine the suspicious devices. HD Sound and video recording capabilities are one of the additional requirements. “Balsa” also needs to be fitted with a manipulator which would make it possible to neutralize the potential threats.

The plan assumes that one robot is going to be acquired in 2016, with 52 examples to be purchased within the next 2 years. The supplier is going to be selected on the basis of four criteria: lowest price (60 points); technical parameters assessment (25 points); guarantee term length (10 points); delivery deadline (5 points). The requests regarding inclusion in the tender procedures may be submitted until 7th September 2015. The Armament Inspectorate assumes that no more than 4 bidders are going to be involved in the procedure. Should a larger number of bidders submit their offers, the companies which delivered the largest total quantity of the remotely controlled robots would be selected. 

In June this year, the Armament Inspectorate suprisingly informed that in other procedure it has selected MTGR robots delivered by the Israeli Roboteam company. The proposal submitted by the Polish Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements was rejected, though its rating was only 3 points lower than the one of the Roboteam’s offer.