A Chinese arms company has revealed a new unmanned ground vehicle that can transport ammunition and supplies in complicated terrains or provide fire cover when armed.
China possesses an arsenal of unmanned weapon systems for different combat scenarios and was prepared for potential robot warfare in the future, Chinese experts said on Sunday.
Chinese private arms company Zhong Tian Zhi Kong Technology Holdings Company displayed the Mule-200 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at the Unmanned System Exhibition and Conference 2020 (UMEX2020) in Abu Dhabi last week, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on the national defense industry, reported on Friday.
The Mule-200 is a medium-sized, multipurpose crawler UGV designed to accompany infantry units and transport ammunition and supplies, equip firearms and provide fire support at close range.
Developed with a modular design concept, the Mule-200 can switch loads for transport, reconnaissance, combat and communication relay for different missions, the report said, noting that unlike most UGVs that leave payloads in the open, the Mule-200 can store them inside its armor to provide protection.
The vehicle weighs 500 kilograms and carries a maximum load of 200 kilograms.
With two caterpillar tracks, the Mule-200 can travel in all kinds of terrain, the report said, noting that the robot vehicle can run at a top speed of 50 kilometers an hour with a longest range of 50 kilometers: superior to comparable UGVs with its newly developed gasoline-electrical hybrid engine.
The Mule-200 is believed to be technically mature and have excellent performance, the report said, and the fact it was developed by a private, not a state-owned, company indicates China enjoys a high technical level in UGVs.
Future warfare is expected to feature intensive unmanned weapon system operations for which China is getting prepared, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Sunday.
The Mule-200 is one example of China's military-civilian integration strategy, the expert noted.
Other state-owned and private companies are developing similar robot vehicle weapons, in addition to aerial drones, unmanned ships, underwater drones and amphibious drones, the expert said.