Rheinmetall displays Mission Master “autonomous unmanned ground vehicle” at CANSEC arms show in Ottawa
The CANSEC arms show took place at the EY Centre in Ottawa this past May 31 to June 1. Rheinmetall AG, the German arms manufacturer founded in Düsseldorf in 1889, was one of the exhibitors at this annual event.
While the vehicles and equipment to be displayed at the arms show are brought in beforehand, one vehicle was brought in on May 31.
That item appears to be the Rheinmetall Mission Master XT.
Rheinmetall describes it as “a rugged A-UGV designed to accompany troops in all kinds of missions, especially in challenging environments. With its total mobility in extreme terrain and advanced amphibious capabilities, the Mission Master XT reliably transports payloads of up to 1000 kg in even the most unforgiving conditions.”
It adds: “Robust enough to handle platoon or company sensors and weapon systems, the Mission Master XT lets units increase their range and firepower with heavier-calibre weapons and larger optics than they would otherwise be able to carry.”
Rheinmetall has also highlighted: “The new Mission Master XT – Fire Support is equipped with MBDA’s Brimstone missile launcher, a long-range, all-weather precision strike missile currently in service with the British armed forces.”
It further explains: “Potential missions [with this payload] include ambush, attack by fire, support by fire, and suppression of enemy air defence systems.”
In an article on the slightly smaller Mission Master CXT version, National Defense notes it can be equipped with “Dillon Aero’s twin M134D minigun” and “a variety of payloads such as rocket launchers, loitering munitions and other configurations.”
In 2013, a case was brought forward by South African plaintiffs that sad Rheinmetall facilitated decades of race-based crimes, including torture and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the country’s security forces during apartheid, by selling its products to the government.
In December 2013, Reuters reported: “A U.S. judge [dismissed the case and] said Daimler AG and Rheinmetall AG cannot be held liable for aiding and abetting South Africa’s former apartheid government in race-based attacks and injustices.”
In April 2021, Aljazeera also reported: “The United Nations Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen and Amnesty International have identified [weapons manufactured in South Africa] in Yemen [including] drones, surveillance equipment, armoured vehicles, and most notoriously, 120mm mortar bombs, whose remnants were discovered at the site of an attack on civilians in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah [that killed over 60 people and wounded 100 more].”
That article then highlights: “Two independent investigations, one of them by the UN experts group on Yemen, found it most likely that these mortars were manufactured by South African arms firm Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM).”
It further notes: “RDM not only sells weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but has also established a munitions factory in Saudi Arabia in 2016. The factory specialises in, among other things, the production of 120mm mortar bombs.”
Additionally: “Remnants of bombs used in an air attack by the Saudi-UAE coalition on Deir al-Hajari in northwest Yemen in 2016 were identified as being manufactured by RWM Italia – a Rheinmetall subsidiary in Italy. That attack killed a family of six, including a pregnant woman and her four young children.”
Rheinmetall has direct or indirect holdings in 156 companies and offices or production facilities in 129 locations across 32 countries, including South Africa, Italy and Canada.
Historically, Rheinmetall was the second largest arms manufacturer for Nazi Germany and has been implicated in the use of Jewish slave labour during the war.
Rheinmetall’s Mission Master XT unmanned ground vehicle was first introduced at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms show in London, UK in 2021. The DSEI arms show will take place this coming September 12-15.
Join us next year at the community-organized intersectional mobilization against CANSEC now scheduled for May 29-30, 2024.
Peace Brigades International is committed to a concept of security linked to protecting human rights and respecting life, ecosystems and common goods. We contend that the billions spent every year on weapons do not make the world a safer place. Weapons and technology are used both in illegal wars and in the repression of human rights defenders.