The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) has awarded a public contract to a consortium of the Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster to launch a project entitled ‘Automated systems on the battlefield’, managed by the Centre for Applied Studies at the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC).
“The aim of the project is to assess how unmanned and automated systems could contribute to our combat power and how we can measure the impact of these new systems on combat power. To achieve this, we will run a number of field experiments and tests in collaboration with the 2nd Infantry Brigade units,” said Lt. Col. Sten Allik, Chief of the Centre for Applied Studies at the ENDC.
In collaboration with the Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster consortium, the project will test various unmanned ground and aerial platforms and the risks related to the exchanges of data, and will also seek solutions to make different systems interoperable.
“Robotic solutions and smart battlefield systems are changing warfare across the world; their effective use gives a significant advantage over conventional weapons systems,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
According to Väärsi, Estonia has a number of strong technology companies that offer solutions in a wide range of different sectors, such as cyber defence, electronic warfare, and unmanned ground and aerial vehicles.
“We want to be a reliable partner in the development of Estonia’s defence capabilities and comprehensive smart battlefield systems,” added Väärsi.
This is the first R&D procurement by the Estonian Defence Forces aimed at field experiments. The procurement procedure for the lease of unmanned ground and areal vehicles and for data collection was carried out by the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI).
The consortium is based on the Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster and includes the following members: Milrem AS, the leading partner, develops and manufactures robotic ground systems; Marduk Technologies OÜ is a developer of drone detection and anti-drone solutions; AS Telegrupp provides various communication solutions; Smart Defence Systems OÜ develops battlefield awareness and information management systems; OÜ ELI develops and manufactures UAV-s and training systems; GuardTime AS is the world’s largest industrial blockchain technology provider; OÜ Rantelon’s main area of business is the design and production of electronic warfare solutions; and Threod Systems OÜ specialises in developing, producing and operating unmanned aircraft systems and their subsystems.
The Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Enterprise Estonia (Project EU49327). The aim of the cluster is to become a centre of competence in research and development and export in the defence industry sector. The vision of the cluster is to create synergy through co-operation between national and international capital in order to strengthen the Estonian defence industry and its exports.