Estonian defence equipment firm Milrem has signed a cooperation agreement with the Estonian Defence League to begin testing the former’s unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) THeMIS.

Under the agreed terms, THeMIS will undergo rigorous tests during live military exercises, the results of which will be used for further development of the UGV and its tactical advancements, Milrem stated.

Milrem CEO Kuldar Väärsi said: “Feedback and know-how input from military units that have first-hand experience with our products is essential to us.

“This cooperation will allow us to develop further robotic solutions that will become an integral part of warfighting.”

Designed to perform a wide range of military missions in dangerous or hard-to-reach areas, the UGV offers enhanced safety and operational effectiveness by keeping warfighters at a safe distance from enemy attack.

The vehicle can be configured for different roles, including reconnaissance, observation, target acquisition, communications relay, logistics support platform, rescue, fire-fighting, and medical evacuation (medevac).

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Milrem and the Defence League have already performed live tests during the biggest Estonian annual military exercise Kevadtorm (Spring Storm) in May.

"The cooperation between the Defence League and Milrem allows the latter to develop innovative products and us to strengthen our military capabilities."

During the exercise, a transport UGV was provided to a Defence League unit for carrying soldier load and other essential equipment.

Defence League commander major general Meelis Kiili said: “The cooperation between the Defence League and Milrem allows the latter to develop innovative products and us to strengthen our military capabilities.

“Together we will boost the Estonian defence industry and hopefully it’s exports.”

With 16,000 members, the Estonian Defence League is responsible for improving the nation’s readiness to defend the independence of Estonia.

Image: Milrem's THeMIS towing equipment during the Spring Storm exercise. Photo: courtesy of Milrem.