During World War 2, the German military developed a remote controlled tracked device called Goliath, intended to carry up to 100 kilograms of explosive to an enemy position or formation.
Despite its innovation, the original Goliath wasn’t a great success – it was slow, vulnerable to small arms fire, and the trailing control cable could be broken.
But that concept has been resurrected by Queensland company Gaardtech. Described as a smart consumable suicide unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), Jaeger is a small wheeled armoured vehicle equipped with sensors and a communications link that is able to wait patiently then attack high value targets such as main battle tanks (MBTs).
“You would emplace these into the battlespace, covering a flank or choke point, anywhere you know enemy vehicles would likely to go,” Gaardtech founder Steen Bisgaard told ADBR at LAND FORCES 2021. “It uses its onboard image analysis system monitor the battlespace.
“It has a three-month battery life,” Bisgaard added. “When it identifies a vehicle, it will ask for permission to attack. If you say yes, then it will automatically run in and ram the vehicle and detonate the payload.”
Inspired by the German WW2 example, that terminal run is termed ‘Goliath’ mode. The payload features explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) directed in a frontal arc able to obliterate a MBT.
Bisgaard says Army is interested in knowing more. “We are waiting on Army to come back to us with some confirmed deliveries of proposals for a live fire activity,” he said. It’s getting a lot of interest.”
Jaeger’s top speed is 90 km/h, and its armour can withstand hits from 50 calibre machine gun rounds. Bisgaard says no-one else is doing anything remotely similar. “Not even close, that we know of,” he said. “I think this is where the future is going – consumable tech that is highly lethal.”
Gaardtech has achieved substantial success at making 2D and 3D robotic replica military vehicles as realistic targets for training, including for live-fire. Most recently, the company secured its first export order to supply targets to the British Army in a deal worth $1.7 million.