CONTENT PREVIEW
Land Platforms

THeMIS trialled in combat support role

30 November 2016
Direct combat support is one role envisaged for THeMIS. Source: Milrem

Milrem has undertaken a demonstration of its Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) alongside Estonian Land Forces personnel, conducting operationally representative manoeuvres.

For the live fire testing a THeMIS was fitted with an Adder RWS equipped with a .50 calibre machine gun. (Milrem)For the live fire testing a THeMIS was fitted with an Adder RWS equipped with a .50 calibre machine gun. (Milrem)

The demonstration was conducted alongside a series of trials held from 1 to 7 of November at the land forces' training facilities at Tapa - home to the 1st Infantry Brigade - which focused on live-fire testing of a THeMIS platform equipped with a remote weapon station (RWS).

A Singapore Technologies Engineering Adder RWS armed with a .50 calibre machine gun was integrated on a THeMIS vehicle. Milrem's chairman, Kuldar Väärsi, told IHS Jane's that although most of the firings were static, on-the-move engagements also took place.

ELI's Multirootor ELIX-XL provided top cover and enhanced situational awareness in the operational scenario. (Milrem)ELI's Multirootor ELIX-XL provided top cover and enhanced situational awareness in the operational scenario. (Milrem)

The Estonia-based live-fire trials follow on from earlier work conducted in Singapore, and Väärsi said that at the latest event Milrem worked with representatives from the University of Tartu to examine the effect of the machine gun's recoil on the vehicle; although final reports are yet to be produced, Väärsi said that initial assessments show that the effect is much less than envisaged.

The operational scenario involved what Väärsi described as a "react to ambush followed by hasty attack" and saw two THeMIS platforms supporting dismounted infantry.

The THeMIS configured for the logistics support role was also used to exflitrate personnel. (Milrem)The THeMIS configured for the logistics support role was also used to exflitrate personnel. (Milrem)

One vehicle was configured as a logistics platform and the other for the combat support role - equipped with an Adder RWS - the pair was accompanied by a small rotary unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the form of ELI's Multirootor ELIX-XL, which provided top cover and enhanced situational awareness for the operation. The logistics-configured THeMIS was also used for exfiltration.

Although the land forces do not have a firm requirement for THeMIS, "This kind of capability is very interesting for [the Estonian Land Forces]," Väärsi explained, adding, "what we are considering now is that during Estonia's biggest exercise - 'Spring Storm' - which will be held in May next year, we might provide one system to the Estonian Defence Forces to assign to unit that would integrate [THeMIS] into their tactics and use it over the full exercise."

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