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‘iMUGS II' to be larger and better funded, but delay confirmed

Milrem's Type-X robotic combat vehicle pictured integrated with Kongsberg's Protector RT40 turret during live-fire testing in Slovenia, June 2022. The Type-X robotic combat vehicle is being touted as a model for the EU's UGV development after the conclusion of iMUGS. (Milrem)

The successor project to the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme, the European Defence Fund's (EDF) project for a common unmanned ground vehicle, has been pushed back by one year, Janes can confirm.

“It's [going to be] in EDF [Work Programme] 2024,” Martin Jõesaar, chief of project office – iMUGS with the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment, told Janes. “The call text for the projects will be announced in [20]24, and the consortium will be put together, and whoever wins will start in [20]25. It's a little bit later than we hoped, but it's still ok,” he added. The project is expected to conclude between 2028 and 2029.

Janes reported on 13 April that European Union (EU) officials were discussing moving back the iMUGS successor project – unofficially referred to as ‘iMUGS II' – by one year or more to prioritise efforts on a common European main battle tank (MBT). Officials had previously expected that the EDF would issue a request for ‘iMUGS II' submissions in 2023 with a view to beginning work on the project in 2024.

It also emerged that several new countries are expected to join the programme, and the budget is to be considerably enlarged compared with the present iMUGS programme. “The goal will be to include more countries, more companies, and more money”, Jõesaar said. “We will try to make it the biggest EDF project to date”.

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