Surprisingly standing out among the ground combat systems on the exhibit hall at the US Army Association exposition was the display in the Australian Pavilion of the Whiskey Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Craft (MMRC).
Darren Schback, Managing Director of The Whiskey Project explained this was the first public showing of the craft which was specifically designed to provide a blue and littoral water capable combat platform that vertically integrates with personnel and C3 systems specifically to meet today’s operational needs.
Its catamaran hull form is specifically designed to provide a stable platform in sea conditions both for the crew and on-board sensors and mission systems. The 9.97m (32.71 ft) length allows for 10 passengers/crew, a maximum load of 2012 kg (4436 lb) with an interior that can be easily reconfigured to various mission needs. Power is by twin OXE 300 hp diesel outboard engines. With integrated armour and a forward bow ramp the craft can also execute insertion and extractions.
Particular attention has been given by Aries Defense, the efforts C3I partner, to the integration of both reconnaissance and surveillance sensors and to information distribution and sharing though networking both on the craft and between craft operating together. The craft was shown with a gyro-stabilized Teledyne FLIR multi-spectral electro-optic, O-SPY sensors, Radar ARPA, ADS, and WECDIS. A vertical launched Quad-copter UAS allows the crew to extend its observation while remaining below the horizon or hidden or to extend communications. The craft can also host a range of weapons systems depending on mission needs.
Schback shared that currently the US Marine Corps have shown interest in the MMRC and it has been recently demonstrated to them. The company sees strong potential from other militaries including the Australian Army, various Indo-Pacific countries, and US Navy Special Operations.
by Stephen W. Miller