Ground Warfare

Ukrainian Armed Forces Take Full Advantage of Their THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles

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Ukrainian Armed Forces Take Full Advantage of Their THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles

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Ukrainian Armed Forces Take Full Advantage of Their THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Ukrainian Armed Forces Take Full Advantage of Their THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles

The THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) delivered by Milrem Robotics to Ukrainian armed forces in the war with Russia are being taken full advantage of during demining, route clearance, re-supply and other missions according to feedback shared with the company. Milrem Robotics delivered 14 THeMIS UGVs to Ukraine. Seven of the systems are intended to carry cargo and for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and seven, equipped with payloads from the French CNIM, for route clearance and demining operations. The THeMIS’ have also been used by engineers to carry anti-tank mines to accelerate mining operations. Milrem Robotics recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Ukrainian Defense Industry (UDI), which consolidates national defence industry companies, that details several development and manufacturing activities between the company and the members of UDI.For obvious security reasons, the units using the systems and the deployment locations remain classified.

According to the agreement, the parties will start strategic cooperation in identifying Ukraine’s requirements and use cases for robotic systems which can enhance the capabilities of Ukraine’s armed units in the ongoing war and after the war. Thereafter the companies involved will integrate Ukraine’s battlefield experience into Milrem Robotics’ existing robotic and autonomous systems and develop new products to create Ukraine’s manned and unmanned multi-domain capabilities. Additionally, the parties will investigate manufacturing THeMIS Combat (with HMG and antitank capabilities), Combat Engineering (mine detection and demining), CASEVAC unmanned ground vehicles and other Milrem Robotics’ products in Ukraine.

THeMIS ROCUS in action
THeMIS ROCUS (Route Clearance System) in action. CNIM developed an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) for route clearance, based on the THeMIS platform. (Photo by Milrem Robotics)

“The UGVs delivered to Ukraine are being used to clear areas from anti-tank mines as well as unexploded ordnances (UXOs), transporting equipment to areas that are not accessible with conventional vehicles or where the risk of losing that equipment is high. However, the most important benefit comes not from avoiding the loss of equipment but the loss of life. Casualty evacuation and route clearance are two labour-intensive activities where soldiers performing these tasks immediately become targets for the enemy. UGVs, on the other hand, can be operated from a distance, keeping the soldiers in a safe location. The operators of the UGVs noted that during the bezdorizhzhia, as the muddy season is referred to in Ukrainian, the THeMIS can act as a re-supply vehicle instead of heavy trucks that tend to get stuck. Also, the small size and low height of the UGV makes its discovery by the enemy difficult and that has increased its survivability,” said Cpt (res) Jüri Pajuste, in charge of the Ukrainian program in Milrem Robotics, naming a few use-cases based on information gathered from the end-user.

Milrem Robotics is the leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer and systems integrator, with offices in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US. Milrem Robotics was established in 2013. Development on the first unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) began late 2014. The company is known for its THeMIS and Multiscope UGVs, the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle and the MIFIK autonomy kit. In February 2023 the EDGE group located in the UAE[1] bought a majority share of the company giving the UAE access to knowledge about the European IMUGS (integrated modular ground system) and CUGS (combined unmanned ground system).

Ukrainian Armed Forces Take Full Advantage of Their THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Training of Ukrainian soldiers by Milrem Robotics’ instructors. (Photo by Milrem Robotics)

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