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The SMSS known as Squad Mission Support System is an independent unmanned ground vehicle designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Originally developed as a Lockheed Martin initiative to lighten the load for light infantry Soldiers and Marines, SMSS was first established in 2005 to support a TARDEC contract. Over time, succeeding variants eliminated the need for a human on board and now feature enhanced capabilities for autonomous navigation, behaviors and obstacle avoidance without a direct remote control. The vehicle also being appraised for firefighting, first responder, power generation and logistic duties that can take advantage of its ever-growing autonomous capabilities.
The robotic skills and autonomy utilized on SMSS are also suitable to a much broader range of robotic applications, commissions and transports.
In July 2011, the SMSS was selected by the U.S. Army to be deployed to Afghanistan for a first-of-its-kind military assessment.
The vehicle is based on a 6×6 all-terrain amphibious frame capable of supporting 453 kg, with cargo deck at the rear part.
Its operator command unit consists of a vest containing the computer, batteries and antenna, and a control/display unit. Its design also allows the group to be carried in the regular modular lightweight load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) system.
The SMSS sensor suite enables it to lock on and follow any person by identifying their digital 3-D profile (caught by the onboard sensors), and it can also navigate region on its own following a tracks of GPS waypoints.
According to t2conline.com, a fully-loaded SMSS is internally transportable onboard CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters, giving new logistics capacity to light and early-entry forces.