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Together with the Netherlands, the Estonian Defense Investment Center (ECDI) is procuring seven Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV). Four of them will be delivered to the Netherlands and three to Estonia. Estonia will receive the vehicles in October 2020, the royal land power will not be theirs for a few months.

The unmanned ground vehicle Themis (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) in question has a diesel-electric hybrid drive. As a universal platform, it can be configured, for example, for transport tasks, as a weapon carrier (remote-controlled weapon station up to 30mm), for EOD tasks and for reconnaissance. With the multi-mission capability, a wide range of support for dismounted troops can be made available quickly.

With a dead weight of 1,630 kg, Themis can carry up to 1,200 kg payload. The crawler chassis is designed for high off-road mobility. The batteries (optionally lead or Li-Ion) fed by the diesel engine via a generator enable operation for up to 15 hours. The maximum speed indicated is 20 km / h. The radio remote control extends over 1.5 km.

The manufacturer MilRem Robotics offers mission-adapted sensor, camera and mechanical equipment for standard configurations. As a system integrator - as with the Estonia / Netherlands contract - Milrem Robotics not only delivers the vehicles, but also takes on the entire integration of third-party technologies, including weapon systems, into the delivered vehicles.

The Estonian Defense Forces deployed Themis in Mali for 12 months during Operation Barkhane. Various Estonian units have gained experience with the vehicle during several military exercises. The Netherlands have been testing two Themis since 2019 in the “Robotica en Autonome Systeme cel.” (RAS) unit of the 13th Light Brigade. Experience has already been gained in Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and during a live fire brigade exercise in Austria. The plan is to further develop concepts for increasing combat strength and protecting soldiers.

Themis has so far been delivered to seven NATO and two other countries. Numerous well-known system houses have implemented combat and reconnaissance solutions with the unmanned vehicle. At MilRem Robotics, it is also the basis for the type X robot combat vehicle. The Intelligent Functions Integration Kit is available for autonomous operation, which enables the Themis, but also other unmanned ground vehicles, to perform autonomous functions such as waypoint navigation and follow-me.

In the research program iMUGS (integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System) within the framework of the EDIDP (European Defense Industrial Development Program 2019) of the European Commission, MilRem Robotics leads a consortium of 14 companies from six countries. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Diehl Defense are involved from Germany.

Gerhard Heiming