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A new robotic mule is headed to help carry the load for grunts

A company recently selected as the winner of a program to create a “robotic mule” for troops to carry a squad’s worth of gear will have the next year to roll out the automated addition to dismounted soldiers.

The Army picked an offering by General Dynamics Land Systems version of the Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport, or SMET, in late 2019.

The $162.4 million contract kicks off what eventually will be 624 SMETs for the Army, which are slated to field to units by 2021.

The device takes the load off of soldiers by carrying water, ammunition, batteries and other items for sustaining a squad in remote environments.

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