Marines want CRABs (No, not those crabs)

Military Tech

VIDEO: EOD bomb bots have come a long way

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Marine Corps may one day launch crawling unmanned robots from ships to clear paths through deadly minefields for approaching assault troops to come ashore.

The Crawling Remotely-Operated Amphibious Breacher (CRAB) will be a submersible, remote-autonomous system armed with mine flails, tillers and rakes for breaching mined obstacles, a dangerous job that combat engineers and explosive ordnance disposal troops currently perform with expensive combat vehicles that are ill-equipped for surf operations, according to a recent Marine Corps Systems Command news release.

Each CRAB, however, would be expendable, Capt. Anthony Molnar, a project officer for mine countermeasures at Systems Command, said in the release.

"We'll save lives and reduce costs for the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps," he said.

The Marines recently submitted a proposal to the Office of Naval Research for the CRAB system as a Rapid Innovation Fund topic for fiscal 2020.

The effort is a priority for Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger, who stressed the need for innovative ways to use unmanned systems to counter enemy anti-access/area denial (A2AD) capabilities such as mine warfare in the 38th Commandant's Planning Guidance for 2019.

"I encourage experimentation with lethal long-range unmanned systems capable of traveling 200 nautical miles, penetrating into the adversary enemy threat ring, and crossing the shoreline — causing the adversary to allocate resources to eliminate the threat, create dilemmas, and further create opportunities for fleet maneuver," the document states. "We cannot wait to identify solutions to our mine countermeasure needs and must make this a priority for our future force development efforts."

The Corps is not the only service aggressively pursuing unmanned vehicle technology. The Army is planning to create manned and unmanned versions of its Next Generation Combat Vehicle, which is being designed to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle. Later versions of the NGCV may include unmanned and manned combat variations to replace the M1 tank.

If approved by the Office of Naval Research, Marine Corps Systems Command will begin a two-year process of developing a prototype and working with Marine Corps Combat Development Command's Combat Development & Integration office to write the system's requirements, Molnar said.

The Marines currently rely on an Assault Breacher Vehicle, which has an M1A1 tank chassis with a full-width mine plow and mine clearing line charges. But the vehicle is not designed to operate in unstable surf zones, he said in the release.

The CRAB would allow Marines to safely detonate underwater explosives prior to manned vehicles passing through an amphibious assault lane, Molnar said.

"The CRAB system is important because currently the naval force can only breach in the surf zone with significant risk to mission or personnel," he added in the release. "This would alleviate that by having an inexpensive and expendable piece of equipment going through there."

This article originally appeared on

More articles from

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

Read More Show Less

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

Read More Show Less