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Combining robotic systems with manned teams can contribute unique capabilities during battle. Two THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have demonstrated their capabilities in a live-fire manned unmanned teaming exercise. THeMIS Combat Support and THeMIS Observe UGVs were employed by the Estonian Defence Forces Artillery Battalion for the exercise.

The vehicles manufactured by Milrem Robotics were used to provide advanced situational awareness and conduct casualty evacuation (CASEVAC). They also supported unit manoeuvres while providing direct fire support from various positions.

The demonstration provided the opportunity to validate the vehicles with end-users in an actual combat scenario.

Artillery Battalion S3 operations and training section commander lieutenant Mari-Li Kapp said: “Having UGVs as a part of the reconnaissance force that prepares the arrival of the main unit, the UGVs could secure the indirect fire and anti-tank teams by providing direct fire support during an engagement and whilst some units are withdrawing.”

During the exercise, THeMIS Combat Support was integrated with FN Herstal’s deFNder Light remote weapon system (RWS) with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The UGV supported an advance force that consisted of an antitank weapons team and a forward observer’s team.

THeMIS Observe UGV was combined with Acecore’s tethered drone to provide a view of the battlefield and enhance the battalion’s situational awareness.

With their ability to provide situational awareness, the UGVs can act as front guards and serve as forwarding observers for indirect fire, according to army-technology.com.