On the surface, the Mission Master XT from Rheinmetall can do one thing: get through anytime, anywhere. The Mission Master XT is an all-wheel-drive unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) with a diesel engine (power: 50 kW) for extreme terrain, which can also be used in sub-zero temperatures. Manufacturer Rheinmetall has now delivered the first Rheinmetall Mission Master XT to Norway. The order comes from the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, which is responsible for research and development in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.
A few months earlier, the Rheinmetall vehicle had prevailed against competing applicants at the “Artic Mobility Trials” in Finland. Both the autonomy and mobility skills were tested in a challenging environment and at a temperature of -30 °C. The Mission Master XT managed to navigate icy rivers and overcome impassable shore areas.
The 2.57m x 3.72m Master XT can turn almost on the spot and navigate frozen rivers and lakes with ease. Even if he breaks through the ice, he keeps going, making his way through water and ice. It can swim and won’t sink if it breaks through the ice sheet. Thanks to the low ground pressure, the Master XT plows through deep mud, drives over sand and also negotiates boulders, mountainous terrain and deep cuts in the ground. The vehicle can climb gradients of up to 70 percent.
The vehicle can autonomously follow another vehicle or human and can also be operated remotely. It weighs 2217 kg and can transport a payload of 1000 kg. The diesel engine has a range of 750 km without refueling and the internal batteries allow up to six hours of watch operation. The Rheinmetall Mission Master XT has a continuous tire pressure system that adapts the tire pressure to the terrain. Like the other platforms in the Rheinmetall Mission Master family, the XT vehicle is also powered by Rheinmetall PATH: an AI-supported navigation system that can be installed on any vehicle.
The large tires have run-flat properties and can continue to drive even after hits that are not too large (the holes must not be larger than 2.5 cm). The Mission Master XT can drive up to 40 km/h over land and up to 5 km/h in the water.
Helicopters such as the CH-53 or CH-47 can transport the vehicle as an external load, and transport aircraft such as the C-130 or larger transport it internally. The Mission Master XT can also be dropped by parachute.
Rheinmetall Canada developed the Rheinmetall Mission Master XT in 2021.
The Master XT can resupply forces in rough terrain, bringing those troops special gear even to hard-to-reach places. The vehicle can also transport soldiers out of the danger zone.
The German Rheinmetall group is known for cannons, ammunition, drones and tank components as well as complete armored vehicles such as the KF41 Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. The Düsseldorf armaments giant caused a sensation last year with the prototype of a new main battle tank that could replace the Leopard 2: KF51 Panther.