The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) signed a Joint Procurement Agreement with the Dutch authorities to procure a total of seven THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) from Milrem Robotics, the leading developer of robotics and autonomous systems in Europe.
Milrem Robotics will deliver four THeMIS vehicles acquired by the Royal Netherlands Army in the coming months. The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) will receive their three vehicles this month.
According to the contract, Milrem Robotics is the system integrator who, in addition to the supplying the vehicles, also performs all the integration of third-party technologies, including weapons systems, onto the delivered UGVs. Notably these unmanned weapons systems will remain under human control.
“We are pleased that the unmanned ground vehicles developed by an Estonian company in the course of a defence research and development project supported by the Estonian Ministry of Defence can now be used by our armed forces,” said Ivar Janson, Strategic Category Manager for Armoured Vehicles at the ECDI. “We are especially pleased, that we found a common ground with our Dutch partners to conduct the Joint R&D project and procurement,” he added.
“We are delighted to enhance our cooperation with Milrem Robotics by increasing our fleet to six THeMIS vehicles in joint efforts with the Estonian Ministry of Defence. So far, the THeMIS has successfully been used for research and experiments by operational units of the 13 Light Brigade in Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands and during a live fire exercise in Austria. The addition of four extra THeMIS vehicles with a Remote Controlled Weapon System that is operated by a soldier provides us the opportunity to continue to develop concepts to enhance the combat power and decrease the risk for our soldiers,” said LtCol Martijn Hadicke, Commander of the Robot and Autonomous Systems (RAS) unit.