The Estonian Defence League starts to test domestic-built UGVs

The Estonian Defence League is to start rigorous tests of the unmanned ground vehicle, THeMIS, during live military exercises; the vehicle was developed by the Estonian defence solutions provider, Milrem.

Milrem and the Defence League already performed live tests during the biggest Estonian annual military exercise, Kevadtorm (Spring Storm) in May. During the exercise, a transport UGV was provided to a Defence League unit for carrying soldier load and other essential equipment.

Feedback from the tests will be used for further development of the Milrem’s UGV and its tactical advancements. “The cooperation between the Defence League and Milrem allows the latter to develop innovative products and us to strengthen our military capabilities. Together we will boost the Estonian defence industry and hopefully it’s exports,” Major General Meelis Kiili, the commander of the Defence League, said in a statement.

Reducing battlefield risks

The cooperation between the company and the Defence League is closely tied to the Digital Infantry Battlefield Solution (DIBS) programme, initiated by Milrem and carried out together with several universities in Estonia and abroad – the aim is to develop efficient and powerful manned-unmanned teaming technologies for military forces that reduce battlefield risks to war fighters. DIBS will also produce recommendations for military doctrine in order to effectively use the capability of robotic systems.

The Estonian Defence League is a voluntary militarily-organised national defence organisation, but a part of the country’s defence forces and ultimately operating under the command of the Estonian government. The Defence League possesses arms and engages in military exercises. Together with affiliated organisations – the Women’s Voluntary Defence Organisation (Naiskodukaitse), the Young Eagles (Noored Kotkad) and the Home Daughters (Kodutütred) – the Estonian Defence League has more than 25,500 volunteers in action.

Milrem is an Estonian defence solutions provider specialising in military engineering, repairing and maintenance, established in 2013.

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Cover: The unmanned ground vehicle, THeMIS, during live military exercises. Images courtesy of Milrem.

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  • Richard Kroll

    Carry the heavy stuff like ammunition, heavy weapons and water. You must consider that Russian is very proficient at electronic warfare, in particular signal jamming of radio communications and potentially instructions to a device such as this.