European developer Milrem Robotics’ two THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have demonstrated their capabilities in a live-fire manned unmanned teaming exercise.

THeMIS Combat Support and THeMIS Observe UGVs were employed by the Estonian Defence Forces Artillery Battalion for the exercise.

The vehicles were used to provide advanced situational awareness and conduct casualty evacuation (CASEVAC). They also supported unit manoeuvres while providing direct fire support from various positions.

Milrem Robotics Defence Research director Jüri Pajuste said: “Taking part in the live-fire exercise of the Artillery Battalion was a great opportunity for us to validate our new infantry support UGV with end-users in an actual combat scenario.

“The THeMIS Combat Support, as well as other unmanned ground systems, will enhance various combat capabilities and help reduce loss of life during combat operations.”

During the exercise, THeMIS Combat Support was integrated with FN Herstal’s deFNder Light remote weapon system (RWS) with a 7.62mm machine gun.

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The UGV supported an advance force that consisted of an antitank weapons team and a forward observer’s team.

THeMIS Observe UGV was combined with Acecore’s tethered drone to provide a view of the battlefield and enhance the battalion’s situational awareness.

With their ability to provide situational awareness, the UGVs can act as front guards and serve as forwarding observers for indirect fire.

Artillery Battalion S3 operations and training section commander lieutenant Mari-Li Kapp said: “We found several benefits in including UGVs into our battle scenario.

“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.”

Last month, Milrem Robotics announced the delivery of the first THeMIS UGV to its Australian homeland security specialist XTEK.