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An unmanned ground vehicle can bring supplies to places inaccessible for armored personnel carriers. The Estonian company Milrem Robotics has released a short video showing its THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle successfully towing a 32-ton French VBCI infantry fighting vehicle.

A week before, the company had announced that it successfully completed the first deployment period of its THeMIS UGV in operation Barkhane in Mali, an operation lead by the French military against Islamist groups in Africa’s Sahel region

THeMIS was initially deployed in Mali with the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) during a leading anti-terrorist operation in France in April 2019. Until April 2020, the vehicle was regularly used during patrols by Estonian soldiers and to transport supplies within its base. 

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 “Divided urban areas can be challenging, and one cannot always depend on APC support. The opportunity to bring along a half-ton of ammunition and water to places unreachable with an APC added great value to patrols and enhanced combat capability,” said Lt Col Sten Allik, Senior Staff Officer of the Estonian Defence Forces.

“THeMIS surprised us with its ability to withstand the difficult environment. Heat and rough terrain test the vehicle; however, it passed easily, “Allik added. During deployment, THeMIS traversed 1,200 km in one of the harshest terrains of lava rock flooring and climates rising to 50 degrees Celsius in the shade. The UGV was operational for more than 330 hours, according to upnewsinfo.com.

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