skip to main content

German Army receives Ziesel unmanned ground vehicles for testing

Ziesel light UGV pictured at the Lehnin training ground near Berlin, in December 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)

The German Army has procured two prototype Ziesel light unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for testing and evaluation, Janes has learnt.

The German Army received the two systems in December 2022, and will conduct the testing for an undetermined period, according to spokespeople for the German Army and the system's manufacturer, Diehl Defence GmbH.

The Ziesel is a tracked UGV designed for close infantry support in roles including logistics and casualty evacuation (casevac).

Explaining the acquisition process to date, Alexander Wolf, head of Technology Management Unmanned Systems and Systroncis at Diehl Defence GmbH, said, β€œThe German Army were looking at our UGV and autonomy research [in the mid 2010s]. We thought about the kind of terrain on which the German Army might be operating, and it's often the forest. That required a platform somewhat smaller than the THeMIS and the Mission Master.”

The THeMIS and Mission Master medium UGVs are modular vehicles produced by Milrem Robotics and Rheinmetall, respectively. They have proven to be popular acquisitions among Western militaries.

The Ziesel light UGV is based on a manned civilian platform produced by Austrian company Mattro. Diehl acquired the first of Mattro's vehicles in early 2019, and converted it into an autonomous platform by integrating its Platon autonomy kit. The first unmanned Ziesel prototype was completed in August 2019.

β€œThe German Army did not know what it wanted at the time. The army invited us for testing alongside other UGV manufacturers. We came across Mattro's product when we were carrying out market research, and after checking the vehicle, it seemed quite suitable for the role. After we integrated our autonomy kit, Platon, we began testing,” said Wolf.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...