Two Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGVs took part in a large-scale military exercise in Estonia. The Estonian Defence Forces Artillery Battalion used these combat robots in a live-fire manned-unmanned teaming exercise to provide advanced situational awareness, conduct casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and support units maneuver while providing direct fire support from various positions.
During the exercise held in April, ground troops performed a maneuver to counter a simulated incoming armor attack. Since the main forces remained in defensive positions 1 km from the enemy forces, the THeMIS Combat Support – integrated with FN Herstal’s deFNder Light Remote Weapon System (RWS) with a 7.62 mm machine gun and the THeMIS Observe with Acecore’s tethered drone – operated on the front flank.
The task of the THeMIS Combat robot was to provide covering fire and support the retreat of the two teams to main positions as well as transporting their anti-tank weapons. At the main battle position, the UGV was used for casualty evacuation.
THeMIS Observe UGV deployed an Acecore tethered drone that provided tactical units with 24 hours of constant observation of the operational area that is essential in the situational awareness perspective. In addition to the combat performance, the drone also served as a live-fire safety monitor. The military controlled the robots through a hand-held interface and an augmented reality headset.
“We found several benefits in including UGVs into our battle scenario,” said Lt Mari-Li Kapp, Commander of operations and training section (S3) in the Artillery Battalion. “Having UGVs as a part of the reconnaissance force that prepares the arrival of the main unit, the UGVs could secure the indirect fire and anti-tank teams by providing direct fire support during an engagement and whilst some units are withdrawing. UGVs could also act as front guards all by themselves since they can provide situational awareness and act as forwarding observers for indirect fire.”