Armed Forces

Tarantula – Reconnaissance Robot for the Polish Army

  • Nowe dokumenty w sprawie zestrzelenia rozponawczego Phantoma II to mistyfikacja czy prawda? - fot. Peter de Jong
    Nowe dokumenty w sprawie zestrzelenia rozponawczego Phantoma II to mistyfikacja czy prawda? - fot. Peter de Jong

The Armament Inspectorate has started a tender, purpose of which is to acquire 50 unmanned “Tarantula” reconnaissance vehicles. Entries will be accepted until 14th November. The proceedings will be conducted in a mode of negotiations, which would involve the bidders selected in the initial procedure. Equipment is to be received by the Polish Army reconnaissance platoons between 2015 and 2016.

The light unmanned vehicle, which is to be acquired, needs to be capable of:

  • Carrying out reconnaissance tasks in direct contact with the enemy, including penetration of dangerous areas and areas inaccessible by humans,
  • carrying out reconnaissance patrols, without the need of using human resources within the area and in the objects that are under direct fire or are protected with explosives,
  • transmitting the reconnaissance sensors data through a wireless audio and video connection to the operator’s console in real time or in time close to real time.

The machine is to be capable of moving in any terrain, including urban environment and off-road areas or densely vegetated areas. The design must make it possible to carry the vehicle inside another reconnaissance vehicle (this concerns,  above all, the modernized BRDM cars). Additionally, a single soldier needs to be capable of carrying the device. Not only does the modular equipment mounting system need to facilitate installation of optical night-day sensors or directional microphones, but it also has to make it possible to use a manipulator, which could be used to neutralize explosives or carry out other tasks.

Detailed technical requirements will be provided to the selected bidders. However, these may be largely approximated on the basis of the technical dialogue created in July 2013, which was related to acquisition of 50 unmanned reconnaissance vehicles for reconnaissance platoons.

The Armament Inspectorate has been looking for unmanned vehicles weight of which would be below 15 kg, that would be able to operate for 6 hours without any interruptions, including at least 2 hours of movement. Traction system was to enable the vehicle to goo over terrain obstacles such as ditches, slopes, stairs or curbs.

Achieving low weight and high level of functionality was to be possible due to the modular structure of the device, which would facilitate an option to replace a variety of sensors on the vehicle body and the manipulating arm, range of which was to exceed 1 m and it was to be capable of lifting objects with 1,5 kg of weight.

According to the data from the technical dialogue mentioned above, wireless control and data transmission system was a preferred solution. Range of the wireless control 4– at least 500 m in open areas and 300 m in buildings or tunnels. The control module shall include helmet-mounted display and panel, control of which would be realizable with just one hand.

In comparison to the last year’s technical dialogue, the planned acquisition deadline is significantly shorter. Back then the procurement was planned to take place between 2015 and 2018. The current tender conditions assume that the supply of 50 robots is to be realized until 30th November 2016.