At the end of November, Milrem Robotics, a company specializing in robotics and autonomous systems, announced the signing of a contract with the German defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for the delivery of 14 THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to Ukraine. The German Ministry of Defense will finance it.
Of the 14 vehicles, seven will be configured for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and should be delivered by the end of the year. The other seven, ROCUS, delivered in the second quarter of 2023, will be configured for the opening of trapped routes.
THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) is an unmanned tracked vehicle, powered by a hybrid system, consisting of a diesel engine and an electric motor. It weighs 1,450 kilos, measures 2.40 m long and 2 wide, its autonomy in hybrid mode is 10 hours and can reach 1h30 in electric mode. It can carry up to 825 kilos. Its AI system allows it to carry out complex missions in difficult terrain, make decisions and complete tasks without human intervention.
During a demonstration of the robot’s capabilities in 2021, Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, said:
“Intelligent functions are a crucial part of unmanned systems because they allow soldiers to focus on their mission rather than operating the system.”
THeMIS’ open architecture allows it to be quickly configured from a transport function to militarization, ordnance disposal or intelligence operations support depending on the nature of the mission.
THeMIS UGVs have been acquired by 16 countries, 8 of which are members of NATO: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. United.
In 2019, the Estonian Defense Forces first deployed the THeMIS UGV to Mali as part of Operation Barkhane.
THeMIS configured for casualty evacuation
Last September, Milrem Robotics delivered a THeMIS CASEVAC, equipped with stretchers, to a Ukrainian charity. The Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) then promised a bounty of almost 15,000 euros, more than the average annual pay of a Russian soldier for capturing the robot, in order to copy the technology.
ROCUS to secure routes
According to British intelligence services, Russia is using improvised explosive devices, IEEs, in the context of the conflict with Ukraine. Using ROCUS will allow Ukrainian convoys to move in a secure environment.
The Themis ROCUS (ROute Clearance Unmanned System) was configured with the anti-IEE system developed by CNIM Industrial Systems, a company based in La Seyne/sur/Mer in the Var. This THeMIS is equipped with a manipulator arm four meters long, able to lift and hold a load of 100 kilos, it can operate day and night. A camera operating in “Bird View” mode allows an operator to control it from 500 meters away.
Jüri Pjuste, Captain and Director of Defense R&D at Milrem Robotics, says:
“The evacuation of casualties and the clearing of routes are two labor-intensive activities that require the commitment of several people who remain under constant threat of enemy fire. Automating these tasks with unmanned vehicles mitigates this danger and allows more soldiers to stay in a safe area or be assigned to more important activities. »
Kuldar Väärsi concludes:
“The deployment of the THEMIS UGV in Ukraine means that Ukrainian forces can increase the safety of their soldiers and let the UGVs handle tasks that pose an immediate threat to humans. This is the ultimate goal of robotic systems. Milrem Robotics is proud to be able to contribute to Ukraine’s fight against the aggressor. »
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Robotics: Milrem Robotics will deliver 14 THeMIS UGVs to Ukraine
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