Infantry Weapons

MILREM up-guns THeMIS with Protector weapon station

23 March 2017

Estonia's MILREM has broadened the range of remote weapon stations (RWS) that can be fitted to its Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).

The company has worked with Kongsberg to integrate the Protector RWS on THeMIS, in a configuration that includes a Javelin anti-tank guided missile. The combination was debuted at the 2017 Ground Robotics Capabilities Exhibition & Conference in Springfield, Virginia.

The Protector Dual RWS variant has been fitted to THeMIS features a primary armament - typically in the form of an M2 .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun (MG), 40 mm MK19 automatic grenade launcher (AGL), or Heckler & Koch GMG 40 mm AGL - accompanied by a co-axial M249 (5.56 mm) MG, M240 (7.62 mm) MG, or a Javelin missile system.

The Protector configuration brings a Javelin missile system. (MILREM)The Protector configuration brings a Javelin missile system. (MILREM)

"The integration has been made in order to demonstrate how easily THeMIS can be converted from a simple transportation unit to a weaponised system," MILREM's chairman, Kuldar Väärsi, told Jane's . He added that discussions are under way regarding possible live-fire trials of the Protector system on THeMIS.

In the United States, MILREM is partnering with QinetiQ NA to offer THeMIS as the Titan platform, which sees the vehicle operating with QinetiQ's robotic command-and-control technology. The system is being targeted at the US Army's Squad Multi-purpose Equipment Transport (S-MET) programme.

Väärsi believes that the addition of the Javelin missile provides the UGV with an asymmetric capability that will enable it to engage even main battle tanks. He said that the conversion from logistics platform to the Protector configuration can be done by the end-user in less than one hour.

MILREM has been at the forefront of recent efforts to add offensive capabilities to UGVs and the integration of Protector follows previous work to fit ST Kinetics' Adder and Aselsan's SARP RWSs on THeMIS.

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