Milrem Robotics and ST engineering demonstrated the ability of the THeMIS armed combat unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to operate under beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) conditions. The new robotic tank could bring the remote-control capabilities of aerial drone warfare down to ground combat.
The demonstration was performed in April during a live-fire exercise held in Tapa, Estonia in co-operation with the Estonian Defence Forces. The UGV is equipped with a 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) and a 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun (HMG).
The joint warfare system brings together the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle and the ADDER DM medium-calibre remote weapon station. It is intended as a force multiplier for dismounted troops that can be utilized in both urban and rural areas.
The Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System, or THeMIS for short, is the first ground-based combat robot that can be controlled from farther away than a direct line of sight. This latest version features a wireless BLVOS control system that allows an operator equipped with a tablet-like, ergonomically-designed mobile or stationary control unit to both steer and fire it at ranges of up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in built-up areas and 2,500 m (8,200 ft) in open ground.
Its intuitive graphical user interface makes it easier to operate with less user fatigue and better combat performance, as per the makers. Safe and secure firing control is provided by a dedicated Fire Control UHF-Band data-link embedded Fire Control System.
The UGV is a tracked all-terrain system capable of negotiating 60% slopes and dealing with 61cm deep water obstacles. It can reach the top speed of 20km/h and is powered by a diesel-electric drive that can ensure uninterrupted operation for 15 hours. Additionally, the THeMIS is armored to NATO STANAG (STANdardization AGreement) 4569 level 3, which means that it can withstand 7.62×51mm armor-piercing rounds, anti-tank mines, and the detonation of a 155mm High Explosive round at a distance of 60 m (200 ft).
“Our joint combat UGV is one of the first armored UGVs in the world that’s especially well-suited for urban conflict areas,” stated Jüri Pajuste, Director of the Defence Programs Department in Milrem Robotics in a press release.
The vehicles will be used for a concept development and experimentation project that seeks to tap the potential of new unmanned platforms to increase combat power and reduce risk to soldiers. Check out the company website for more details here.