Milrem Robotics signs contract with Japan To Supply THeMIS UGV Ground Robot

Milrem Robotics signs contract with Japan To Supply THeMIS UGV Ground Robot

According to information published by Milrem Robotics on April 16, 2024, a leading robotics and autonomous systems developer in Europe, has been awarded a contract to provide the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces with THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). The agreement illustrates of transition between defensive force to operational and combat-ready force of Japan’s military strength, focusing on adopting unmanned technology to improve safety and operational efficiency.

Operationally proven during several exercises, experiments, and the anti-insurgency mission Operation Barkhane led by French Army in Mali – the THeMIS is a multi-role unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) intended to reduce the number of troops on the battlefield. THeMIS open architecture enables it to be rapidly configured from having a transport function to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal, or supporting intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission. The THeMIS UGV (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) is equipped with the Milrem Intelligent Functions Kit (MIFIK), THeMIS can perform a variety of tasks autonomously, including supply transportation, intelligence gathering, IED clearing, wounded transport, … . Its modular design allows for different configurations to suit various mission needs, making it adaptable for on- and off-road operations.

Under the contract, Milrem Robotics will supply three THeMIS UGVs, each configured for specific roles such as supply transportation and intelligence gathering. These vehicles are equipped with the Milrem Intelligent Functions Kit (MIFIK), enabling autonomous navigation both on and off the road through advanced waypoint navigation and behavioral programming.

Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, emphasized the importance of this technology in modern warfare. “The goal of the Ground Self-Defense Forces is to fundamentally strengthen its defense capabilities with unmanned assets to achieve asymmetric superiority and minimize human casualties,” he stated. Väärsi expressed pride in supporting the Japanese forces’ goals to enhance combat effectiveness through advanced robotics.

The selection of THeMIS UGVs by the Japan Ministry of Defense aligns with the new Rapid Acquisition Program, which aims to expedite the deployment of critical technologies. Milrem Robotics is committed to ensuring a swift rollout of these systems.

The use of THeMIS UGVs is already widespread, with adoption in 16 countries, including eight NATO members—Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US. These UGVs have proven their value on the battlefield, notably supporting Ukrainian forces in their ongoing conflict with Russia.

The deployment of these unmanned systems by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces is expected to significantly enhance the safety and efficiency of their operations, reflecting a growing trend of integrating robotic technology into military strategy.

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