The THeMIS Combat UGV fitted with Milrem Robotics’ Intelligent Functions Kit was unveiled in 2023. Credit: EDGE PJSC Group.
The THeMIS Combat UGV fitted with Milrem Robotics’ Intelligent Functions Kit was unveiled in 2023. Photo: Business Wire.
The THeMIS UGV is in service with 16 countries. Photo: Business Wire.
THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle is being developed by Milrem. Photo: Business Wire.
A prototype of THeMIS UGV was introduced at the DSEI 2015 exhibition. Image courtesy of Ministry of Defence, France.
The THeMIS ADDER can be armed with a CIS 50MG machine gun. Image courtesy of Dave1185 at en.wikipedia.

THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) is a multi-mission, unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) developed by Milrem Robotics, a robotics and autonomous systems developer based in Estonia, with support from the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

The prototype of the UGV was unveiled at the Defence Security and Equipment International 2015 (DSEI 2015) defence and security exhibition held in London in September 2015. The THeMIS infantry system underwent live fire tests in 2016.

In September 2019, the THeMIS UGV successfully underwent air transportability assessments, conducted in accordance with NATO standard STANAG 3542.

The THeMIS UGVs are in service with 16 countries, eight of which are North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK and the US.

EDGE, a technology company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), acquired a controlling interest in Milrem in February 2023.

In January 2024, Milrem secured a contract with the UAE Ministry of Defence to deliver 40 THeMIS UGVs and 20 tracked RCVs. Milrem will lead an experimentation and trial programme to seamlessly integrate unmanned ground capabilities into the arsenal of the UAE Armed Forces, according to the terms of the contract.

THeMIS UGV design and features

The THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle is based on a tracked chassis with two crawler tracks connected by a large central bay. Its compact size and modular design help reduce life cycle management costs and simplify maintenance operations.

The length and width of the vehicle are 2.1m each and the height is 0.98m. The UGV has a base kerb weight of 850kg and can carry payloads of 750kg.

The central bay is designed to incorporate different mission equipment including cargo, towing equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and weapons systems as per the operational requirements. The medevac configuration can carry a stretcher.

The THeMIS ADDER features the same base platform but a different layout.

THeMIS hybrid UGV mission capabilities

The UGV is designed to perform a wide range of military missions in dangerous or hard-to-reach areas. It 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).

THeMIS UGV variants include THeMIS Cargo, THeMIS intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, THeMIS Combat and THeMIS explosive ordnance disposal.

In September 2023, Milrem revealed a new THeMIS UGV outfitted with loitering munitions.

The new THeMIS Combat UGV is equipped with Halcon’s Hunter 2-S tactical swarming drones. It incorporates artificial intelligence to identify, monitor and effectively neutralise soft targets, light vehicles, and armoured vehicles from secure distances, even in demanding battlefield environments.

The Hunter 2-S can autonomously track a designated flight plan towards a target area, collaborate with other drones in a swarm and linger in the area while identifying targets until directed for engagement by a human operator.

Armament of THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle

The THeMIS multi-purpose infantry system can be armed with weaponry such as anti-tank missiles, machine guns and remote control weapon station to engage light armoured vehicles.

The THeMIS ADDER variant features ADDER RCWS developed by ST Kinetics. The ADDER weapon station is compatible with weapons including a 7.62mm general-purpose machine gun, a 12.7mm machine gun, a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a CIS 50MG machine gun.

The onboard video tracking system allows the engagement of both stationary and moving targets. The ADDER also features day and night imaging cameras, a laser rangefinder and an optional 40mm air-bursting munition system.

Command and control

In remote control mode, a command and control station allows the operator to receive real-time sensor data from the THeMIS unmanned vehicle and to transmit command data to the vehicle through a tactical data link.

An autonomous controlled system installed in the UGV provides autonomous real-time control and obstacle avoidance capabilities. It automatically directs the vehicle to reach a target along the desired path.

The vehicle can also be equipped with the intelligent functions kit Milrem Intelligent Function Integration Kit (MIFIK), which provides autonomous operations capabilities such as autonomous resupply, perimeter or border patrol, and reconnaissance and intelligence gathering to both manned and unmanned vehicles.

In July 2023, the THeMIS UGV equipped with the MIFIK demonstrated exceptional performance in groundbreaking autonomy trials conducted by the Estonian Military Academy.

THeMIS engine and mobility

The unmanned ground vehicle is powered by a hybrid propulsion system, consisting of a diesel engine and an electric motor. It can run solely on an electric motor using lithium-ion batteries developed by Denchi Power and graphene ultracapacitors.

Manufactured by Skeleton Technologies, the ultracapacitors deliver increased energy efficiency and reliable operation.

The lightweight tracked suspension system offers high mobility in off-road conditions.

The infantry system can travel at a speed of 50km/h and can endure for up to eight hours.

Orders and deliveries

In May 2019, Milrem supplied two THeMIS UGVs to the Robot and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Unit of the 13th Light Brigade of the Royal Netherlands. The RAS Unit ordered the UGVs for its Concept Development and Experimentation Project.

Milrem agreed to provide two UGVs to the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in March 2020.

The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment partnered with Dutch authorities to purchase seven THeMIS UGVs from Milrem through a joint procurement agreement signed in September 2020. The deal included the delivery of four THeMIS vehicles to the Royal Netherlands Army, as well as three vehicles to the Estonian Defence Forces.

In April 2021, Milrem and XTEK signed a distribution and maintenance agreement for THeMIS UGV. It also delivered the first UGV to the Australian homeland security specialist for testing, assessment, and demonstration.

In February 2022, Milrem provided the THeMIS Combat UGV to Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute. The Spanish Ministry of Defence received the first THeMIS UGV from Milrem in August of the same year.

Milrem and the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) signed a contract to supply Ukraine with 14 THeMIS UGVs in November 2022.