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EU's iMUGS programme conducts final technology demonstration

Three THeMIS UGVs pictured at the Lehnin Training Area, Germany during the fifth iMUGS demonstration. (Milrem Robotics/Sami Laaksonen)

Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS), the European Union's (EU's) programme for a common unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), concluded its fifth and final demonstration on 15 December.

The demonstration, which was conducted at the Lehnin Training Area near Berlin, exhibited the programme's swarming and autonomy technologies in their most advanced public display to date, and represented the culmination of iMUGS technological efforts, according to officials and industry representatives working on the iMUGS programme.

During the demonstration, UGVs of various classes autonomously carried out a series of tasks, including mapping and force screening missions, before assisting ‘blue' force troops in assaulting a ‘red' force fortified position.

In the first task, THeMIS medium UGVs acting in an autonomous swarm carried out reconnaissance of the tactical area before the insertion of personnel from the ‘blue' force. The THeMIS UGVs utilised local swarming technologies exhibited on basic unmanned platforms in previous iMUGS demonstrations. Janes reported in November that the iMUGS consortium had commenced the integration of this technology into the far more advanced THeMIS platform.

During the task, sensor data from the UGVs was relayed to a command-and-control centre. The data gathered is intended to create a common operational picture shared by all friendly units. All the vehicles are connected into a mesh network developed by Finnish firm Bittium.

In the subsequent task, the UGVs screened a ‘blue' force from the German Army while providing logistical and casualty evacuation support during the assault and capture of the ‘red' force position. German Army troops were shown assaulting ‘red' forces fortified in a small village and subsequently repelling a ‘red' force counterattack.

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