A consortium led by Milrem Robotics has won €30.6m to develop a European standardised unmanned ground system (UGS).

The contract has been awarded by the European Commission’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

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The project called integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) is led by Estonia.

Finland, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain will finance €2m ($2.2m) of the project budget.

The consortium has 14 parties, including Milrem Robotics, GT Cyber Technologies, Safran Electronics & Defense, NEXTER Systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Diehl Defence.

The remaining companies are Bittium Wireless, Insta DefSec, (Un)Manned, dotOcean, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, GMV Aerospace and Defence, the Estonian Military Academy and Royal Military Academy of Belgium.

The project will include the development of modular for hybrid manned-unmanned systems. Operational information and concepts for the combined engagement of manned and unmanned assets will also be gathered.

It will standardise a European wide ecosystem for aerial and ground platforms, command, control and communication equipment, sensors, payloads, and algorithms.

During development, Milrem Robotics’ existing unmanned ground vehicle THeMIS will be leveraged for the prototype system.

Once developed, the project will be demonstrated during member states’ military exercises or at separate testing grounds.

Milrem Robotics CEO Kuldar Väärsi said: “Robotic and autonomous systems will tremendously enhance defence and military capabilities in the coming years all around the world.

“iMUGS is an excellent example of how Europe can utilize and develop high-end technologies as a joint effort while avoiding scattering activities and resources.

“It is nice to see, that the European Defence Fund is efficiently consolidating the requirements of EU member states and the European industry’s capabilities to increase defence capabilities and strategic autonomy.”