Estonia’s Milrem Robotics to expand UGV production with new facility

Estonian robotic and autonomous systems developer company Milrem Robotics announced Thursday the opening of a new facility in Tallinn, which is set to increases its production capacity fivefold.

The company said this expansion will enable the production of 500 units annually of its unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System).

The expansion of production capacity is a reaction to the rising need for smart robotic solutions. The THeMIS is engaged in military activities, including those backing Ukrainian forces.

According to Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, the new facility strengthens the company's capacity to meet substantial orders. He also highlighted the growing significance of UGVs in contemporary conflicts, as evidenced by their increased deployment in Ukraine.

“Many end-users, satisfied with the results of testing the robotic vehicles, are preparing to launch high-quantity procurements. With the opening of our new facility, we are better prepared to answer these calls,” Väärsi said.

“Also, the growing use of UGVs in Ukraine shows a clear focus and importance of unmanned ground systems,” he added.

“Unlike other technology companies who announced layoffs during 2023, Milrem Robotics is continuing to grow this year and hiring 100 new employees, mostly in Europe,” Väärsi also noted.

The company is broadening its prototyping facilities to hasten the development of new products and has incorporated an additional 1,000 square meters of office space to accommodate its growth.

The THeMIS has demonstrated its operational effectiveness through various exercises, experiments, and missions such as Operation Barkhane in Mali, aimed at combating insurgency. As a multi-role UGV, it is designed to decrease troop presence on the battlefield. Its open architecture allows for rapid configuration, transforming it from a transport vehicle to a weaponized platform, performing ordnance disposal, or aiding intelligence operations, depending on mission requirements. THeMIS UGVs have been procured by 16 countries, with 8 NATO members, including Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US, among them.

The THeMIS UGV serves as a multi-role platform adaptable to various missions, including logistics, reconnaissance, surveillance, and direct combat. Its modular architecture facilitates the integration of different payloads and systems, ensuring high customization to meet specific operational needs. Built on a tracked chassis, it offers superior mobility across different terrains, from urban settings to rugged landscapes.

A standout attribute of the THeMIS is its modularity, enabling easy interchangeability of payloads to suit mission requirements. This encompasses systems such as remote weapon stations, jammers, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors. Such flexibility enables swift reconfiguration to address evolving battlefield demands, bolstering its effectiveness and operational flexibility.

Equipped with a hybrid diesel-electric powertrain, the THeMIS boasts a considerable operational range and the capability for silent electric-mode movement, crucial for stealth operations.

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