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                             From the Desk of Guest Editor

                                  Dear Readers,

                                  It is my privilege and pleasure to be the Guest Editor for this issue of Technology Focus, an
                              important medium for dissemination of information and sharing of knowledge with the civil
                              society. Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is a very critical technology of the future and it will
                              have a very decisive role in all future conflicts. This issue highlights the design and development of
                              various types of UGVs being carried out at CVRDE.

                                  The legacy of CVRDE dates back to 1929 as a Central Inspectorate of Mechanical Transport
                              Establishment at Chakalala (presently in Pakistan) and subsequently to the establishment as an
                              independent laboratory at Avadi in 1975. Today, it has been transformed into a full-fledged premier
establishment for the design and development of armoured combat vehicles for the Indian Army. To its credit, CVRDE has
several success stories and many products have been inducted into the Services. Few of the products are: Armoured Patrol
Car, Armoured Recovery Vehicle, 130 mm SP Gun on Vijayanta, Carrier Mortar Tracked and Carrier Command Post on
BMP II, Bridge Layer Tank (BLT-72), Combat Improved Ajeya, Armoured Ambulance and Arjun Mk-I. CVRDE has also
designed and developed Arjun Mk-II, Arjun Catapult, Arjun ARRV, etc. Further, CVRDE has also engaged in the design and
development of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) for LCA-Tejas and Rustom-II-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). In line with
the recent advances in the battlefront and as a proactive initiative, CVRDE has undertaken the design and development of
UGVs. Designing and developing UGVs is a challenging task as it is a multi-disciplinary system-of-systems and involves a
wide spectrum of diverse technologies, including mechanical, electro-mechanical, electro-optics, electronics, software, etc.

    By its very nature, a UGV has to surmount many problems which are not faced by unmanned aerial vehicle or unmanned
underwater vehicle, viz, the problem of navigation on unstructured and unpredictable terrains. Another important factor was
that the UGV for military applications was an evolving field in India and there was very little information during the initial
days of development, particularly for medium to heavy duty tracked vehicles.

    It is a matter of pride that a series of UGVs and associated technologies have been developed by CVRDE within a short
span of time. The major UGV development completed by CVRDE is the MUNTRA’series of tracked UGVs. The three UGVs
developed under this programme are configured for the three unmanned missions of Surveillance, NBC Reconnaissance and
Mine Detection and Marking. The UGVs have successfully completed the rigorous validation trials conducted in summer/
winter conditions at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (MFFR), Rajasthan. As part of the design and development of UGVs,
methodologies and procedures for the integration and evaluation/validation of UGV systems/technologies have been evolved
by CVRDE. Another major contribution of CVRDE is the development and nurturing of many industrial partners in this niche
technological field; this has enabled our country to establish an indigenous sources which can support further developments.

    It is my sincere belief that this issue of ‘Technology Focus’ will provide an insight into the design and development of UGVs
at CVRDE and will foster enhanced collaboration and sharing of knowledge among DRDO laboratories in this futuristic
technological domain.

    Jai Hind !

                                                                                                                                 Dr P. Sivakumar
                                                                                        Distinguished Scientist and Director, CVRDE

2 March-April 2018 							  Unmanned Ground Vehicles: Present and Future
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