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The missions the modern military is faced with are variegated and diverse. They require soldiers to possess a wide set of capabilities, tools, and equipment that are at times at odds with one another. One mission could require absolute stealth, while another could necessitate carrying so much equipment that stealth would be unthinkable. The modern soldier must be adaptable and ready to change at a moment’s notice. Estonian defence company Milrem envisions the robots supporting soldiers being as modular and adaptable as they themselves are.
At the Singapore Airshow 2016 Milrem introduced THeMIS – a Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System, billed as the “first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).” THeMIS is designed to be adaptable to multiple mission profiles, to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield in multiple scenarios.
To achieve this flexibility, THeMIS relies on a highly modular design. The base of the system is a pair of tracked pods separated by a central platform. The pods are completely independent of each other. Each sports its own isolated electronic systems and power packs that can be diesel or electric. Assembled, the pods comprise a two-track autonomous UGV measuring 2.5 x 2 x 0.6 m. THeMIS weighs in at 700 kg and is capable of carrying its own weight in payload, reaching a top speed of 35 km/h and working for 8 hours on a fully battery charge or fuel tank.
The central platform can carry a variety of modules designed for different missions: communications relay, mine clearance, supply transport, medevac, and weapons, and even a UAV base.
“Unmanned systems will play a significant role in the development of military capabilities in future,” says Milrem CEO Kuldar Vaarsi. “Within the next ten years, we will see smart ground systems complementing the human troops during joint missions. We are excited to be in cooperation with ST Kinetics for THeMIS ADDER, and we’re sure that this universal UGV concept will effectively supplement defense capabilities on a battalion level.”
THeMIS will go into production in 2017.