Tag Archives: THeMIS

First anti-tank UGV

MBDA and Milrem Robotics are showcasing the world’s first anti-tank Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) at IDEX 2019, the main defence industry event in the MENA region. The debut of the system’s advanced concept comes only eight months after Milrem Robotics and MBDA announced the start of feasibility studies of the system.

The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection
The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection

The joint project integrates the Milrem Robotics THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle with the MBDA IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system fitted with two MMP 5th generation battlefield engagement missiles and a self-defence machine gun. «This combination of two of the most modern technologies in their field is a very good example how robotic warfare systems will bring disruption to the battlefield and make some traditional technologies obsolete», said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. «Our unmanned land combat system under study together with MBDA will be very efficient in keeping our troops safe and significantly increasing the capability to fight main battle tanks as well as any other ground target», Väärsi added.

The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection. The system will have a low heat and noise signature so it can stay unnoticed until completing its mission.

«Being delivered to the French Army since the end of 2017, the MMP system is now deployed by the French forces in theatre, where it replaces the Milan and Javelin missiles. With fully digitalized functions of observation, targeting, positioning and guidance, the MMP system is perfectly suited for integration on vehicles, including remotely operated ones», said Francis Bordachar, Military Advisor Land Products at MBDA.

Milrem Robotics

The leading European missile systems designer and producer MBDA and unmanned vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics will begin developing the world’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) specially designed for anti-tank purposes.

MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle
MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle

The joint project will feature the IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system from MBDA that will be integrated onto the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle by Milrem Robotics.

The system will be remotely operated and is in line with the system developers’ main aim of exchanging humans on the battlefield for much more capable robots.

«One of the challenges in urban warfare is keeping anti-tank infantry hidden from the enemy’s surveillance equipment that can very easily detect soldier’s heat signature. The aim of our joint integration project is developing a system that has a low heat signature and most importantly – will keep infantry in a safe distance», explained Brig Gen (res) Alar Laneman, military advisor of Milrem Robotics.

«MMP, the world’s only 5th Generation anti-tank guided weapon, now in service within the French Armed Forces, has been developed for both mounted and dismounted applications and is suitable for unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). With its 4km+ range and its two firing modes – Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock On After Launch (LOAL) – the MMP gives to THeMIS UGV an unmatched capability to engage a target beyond line of sight. MMP allows, within remote operation, to engage very discreetly battlefield targets at ranges greater than the enemies counter fire, from behind cover and within structures in fighting in built-up areas. The MMP Firing installation deployed on UGV also provides an ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, & Reconnaissance) capability and, through direct integration with a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) network, delivers battlefield intelligence out beyond the platoon», added the former Colonel Francis Bordachar, military advisor of MBDA.

THeMIS at the Battlefield

According to Defense-aerospace.com, Milrem, the Estonian defence solutions provider, and ST Kinetics, one of Asia’s leading land systems companies, came one step closer to helping support or replace soldiers on the battlefield with robots in November when they successfully tested the first weaponized fully modular unmanned ground vehicle, the THeMIS ADDER.

The THeMIS ADDER unmanned ground vehicle during field tests. Claimed to be the first fully modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle in the world, it combines the THeMIS vehicle and the ADDER remote weapon station from ST Kinetics (Milrem photo)
The THeMIS ADDER unmanned ground vehicle during field tests. Claimed to be the first fully modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle in the world, it combines the THeMIS vehicle and the ADDER remote weapon station from ST Kinetics (Milrem photo)

With the aim to minimize human casualties and support existing ground troops, the two companies have been jointly developing a weaponized unmanned vehicle for some time now. During November, however, with the cooperation and supervision of the Estonian Defence Forces first live fire test of the vehicle were conducted.

«The tests were intended to test the stability of our platform and see how the remote weapon station and vehicle communicate and work with each other», explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem. «To our satisfaction everything worked perfectly, you can see as much from the video», he added.

The THeMIS ADDER was equipped with a CIS 50MG. However, the system can be outfitted with smaller and larger caliber weapons as well.

«Estonians have proved many times before that we can successfully be on the forefront of innovation and the Milrem unmanned ground vehicle is a great example of that innovation when it comes to new technologies in the military field», said Lieutenant General Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. «THeMIS ADDER has great potential to put Estonia on the map of countries that provide new technologies and solutions to the modern battlefield», Terras added.

The THeMIS ADDER features the first fully modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle in the world the THeMIS and the remote weapon station ADDER from ST Kinetics.

The TheMIS has a payload of 1,653-2,205 lbs/750-1000 kg, speed of 15 mph/24 km/h and up to 10 h operation time. In addition to being a machine gun on tracks the vehicle can be used for a wide variety of applications, including remote reconnaissance platform, Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) platform, medevac vehicle and supply delivery device.