Milrem Robotics, an Estonian company partly owned by the UAE based EDGE Group will equip the UAE Armed Forces with 60 Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), according to an official announcement released yesterday at the colsong day of the UMEX exhibition in Dubai and the International Armored Vehicles (IAV2024) conference in London, today. The contract includes 40 units of Milrem’s THeMIS UGVs and 20 units of the larger, tracked Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCV, formally known as TypeX) currently under development. The equipment will be part of the first operational trail program with the UAE armed forces, expected to be followed by a larger order on completion.

Under the terms of the contract, Milrem Robotics will lead an experimentation and trial program aimed at integrating unmanned ground capabilities into the UAE Armed Forces’ arsenal. This initiative is a significant step towards enhancing the Armed Forces’ combat capabilities through the deployment of THeMIS UGVs and tracked RCVs, which are both equipped with advanced autonomy features, third party payloads and high-quality communication solutions.

“EDGE Group’s investment in Milrem Robotics has opened new avenues for us in the region, further expanding our international growth and market presence.” Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics said. “This project highlights the strategic value of incorporating advanced robotic systems into force structure, thereby enhancing their combat capabilities and operational efficiency.”

THeMIS UGVs recently delivered to the Thai Army are armed with M230LF cannon (30x113mm) mounted on an EOS weapon station.

The TypeX RCV weighs 12 tons and can carry a payload weight of up to four tons. At a weight of 1,630 kg, THeMIS carries a maximum payload of 1.2 tons. Both platforms will be equipped with 30mm guns. The tracked RCVs will receive an armored turret carrying the 30x173mm MK44 cannon, while the lighter THeMIS Combat units will be equipped with a weapon station mounting 30x113mm M230LF Remote Weapon Stations and with Indirect Fire Systems. THeMIS Observe units will be equipped with a mast-mounted radar and camera systems, including shot detection capabilities.

Under the contract Milrem Robotics will provide comprehensive training and supervision to ensure the relevant personnel achieve a satisfactory skill level in operating combat unmanned ground systems.

Milrem Robotics introduced a technology demonstrator of an 8×8 wheeled RCV to be unveiled next year. Photo: Defense-Update

At the IAV 2024 event Milrem Robotics unveiled a new 8×8 wheeled platform developed for an international customer, believed to be EDGE. At the IDEX exhibition EDGE displayed a larger 8×8 RCV weighing 23 tons. This platform is believed to be replaced by the new platform currently under development at Milrem, that will weigh only 12 tons, and carry 3-5 tons of payload. At a length of six meters, width and height of 2.7 meters, the new wheeled platform will provide a similar surface area as the TypeX, but is expected to be more affordable than the Tracked RCV, be faster on road (110 km/h, compared to 80 km/h of TypeX), with maximum 50 km/h off road speed. Such an RCV will weigh about half the weight as comparable manned vehicle, but has the same, or even better performance, positioning it as an effective support platform for mechanized formations.