Boeing and iRobot have delivered the first 30 small unmanned ground vehicles (SUGV) under a contract with the US Air Force (USAF) for the service’s explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team.

This is the first task order of an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract which runs through September 2012.

The robot is designed to give warfighters real-time awareness of critical situations and allow them to complete missions from safe, stand-off distances.

Boeing provides programme management, contracts, and quality-control support while iRobot is responsible for engineering, design, manufacturing, training and logistics services.

Boeing Network and Tactical Systems Robotics programme manager Mike Huddleston said SUGV represents an important advancement in UGV technology because of its low weight and advanced capabilities.

“It gives warfighters the ability to deploy the robot at a moment’s notice when faced with a variety of dangerous missions,” he added.

SUGV is ideal for a variety of mission types, including EOD, route clearance and reconnaissance.