THeMIS trialled in combat support role
Huw Williams, London - IHS Jane's International Defence Review
30 November 2016
Direct combat support is one role envisaged for THeMIS. Source: Milrem
Milrem has undertaken a demonstration of its Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) alongside Estonian Land Forces personnel, conducting operationally representative manoeuvres.
For the live fire testing a THeMIS was fitted with an Adder RWS equipped with a .50 calibre machine gun. (Milrem)
The demonstration was conducted alongside a series of trials held from 1 to 7 of November at the land forces' training facilities at Tapa - home to the 1st Infantry Brigade - which focused on live-fire testing of a THeMIS platform equipped with a remote weapon station (RWS).
An Singapore Technologies Engineering Adder RWS armed with a .50 calibre machine gun was integrated on a THeMIS vehicle. Milrem's chairman, Kuldar Väärsi, told IHS Jane's that although most of the firings were static, on-the-move engagements also took place.
ELI's Multirootor ELIX-XL provided top cover and enhanced situational awareness in the operational scenario. (Milrem)
The Estonia-based live-fire trials follow on from earlier work conducted in Singapore, and Väärsi said that at the latest event Milrem worked with representatives from the University of Tartu to examine the effect of the machine gun's recoil on the vehicle; although final reports are yet to be produced, Väärsi said that initial assessments show that the effect is much less than envisaged.
The operational scenario involved what Väärsi described as a "react to ambush followed by hasty attack" and saw two THeMIS platforms supporting dismounted infantry.
The THeMIS configured for the logistics support role was also used to exflitrate personnel. (Milrem)
One vehicle was configured as a logistics platform and the other for the combat support role - equipped with an Adder RWS - the pair was accompanied by a small rotary unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the form of ELI's Multirootor ELIX-XL, which provided top cover and enhanced situational awareness for the operation. The logistics-configured THeMIS was also used for exfiltration.
Although the land forces do not have a firm requirement for THeMIS, "This kind of capability is very interesting for [the Estonian Land Forces]," Väärsi explained, adding, "what we are considering now is that during Estonia's biggest exercise - 'Spring Storm' - which will be held in May next year, we might provide one system to the Estonian Defence Forces to assign to unit that would integrate [THeMIS] into their tactics and use it over the full exercise."
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Israel's new Segev UGVs to become 'fully autonomous'
Yaakov Lappin, Tel Aviv - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
01 December 2016
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is set to upgrade the Segev unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) it currently operates on the border with the Gaza Strip with a remote weapon station and an autonomous navigation capability, the commander of the Unmanned Surface Vehicle Company has told IHS Jane's .
Introduced in mid-2015, the Segev replaced the Guardium platform. Both UGVs were made by G-NIUS, an IAI-Elbit joint venture that was discontinued earlier this year. The Segev is now maintained by Elbit Systems.
The Segev UGV replaced the Guardium in mid-2015. (Israel Defense Forces)
The Guardium was introduced in 2008 and remained in service well beyond the original few months it was intended to serve as a technology testbed.
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Milrem: Weaponized Unmanned Ground Vehicles are Aiming at the Battlefield
(Source: Milrem; issued Nov 30, 2016)
The THeMIS Adder unmanned ground vehicle during field tests. Claimed to be the first fully modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle in the world, it combines the THeMIS vehicle and the Adder remote weapon station from ST Kinetics. (Milrem photo)
TALLINN, Estonia --- Milrem, the Estonian defence solutions provider, and ST Kinetics, one of Asia’s leading land systems companies, came one step closer to helping support or replace soldiers on the battlefield with robots in November when they successfully tested the first weaponized fully modular unmanned ground vehicle, the THeMIS ADDER.
With the aim to minimize human casualties and support existing ground troops, the two companies have been jointly developing a weaponized unmanned vehicle for some time now. During November, however, with the cooperation and supervision of the Estonian Defence Forces first live fire test of the vehicle were conducted.
“The tests were intended to test the stability of our platform and see how the remote weapon station and vehicle communicate and work with each other,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem. “To our satisfaction everything worked perfectly, you can see as much from the video,” he added.
The THeMIS ADDER was equipped with a CIS 50MG. However, the system can be outfitted with smaller and larger caliber weapons as well.
"Estonians have proved many times before that we can successfully be on the forefront of innovation and the Milrem unmanned ground vehicle is a great example of that innovation when it comes to new technologies in the military field,” said Lieutenant General Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. “THeMIS ADDER has great potential to put Estonia on the map of countries that provide new technologies and solutions to the modern battlefield,” Terras added.
The THeMIS ADDER features the first fully modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle in the world the THeMIS and the remote weapon station ADDER from ST Kinetics.
The TheMIS has a payload of 750-1000 kg, speed of 24km/h and up to 10h operation time. In addition to being a machine gun on tracks the vehicle can be used for a wide variety of applications, including remote reconnaissance platform, C-IED (Counter Improvised Explosive Device) platform, medevac vehicle and supply delivery device.
Milrem is an Estonian technology solutions provider. The company’s two main lines of business include the research and development of unmanned vehicles and life cycle management for heavy-duty military vehicles.
Ukroboronprom demos digital FCS
14th December 2016 - 9:30
by The Shephard News Team
Demonstrations have been carried out on a new digital fire control system installed on the BMP-1UMD infantry fighting vehicle. The demonstrations were conducted in the Kyiv region by Ukroboronprom’s Zhytomyr Armored Plant.
The fire control system is a robotic combat unit that automatically detects and tracks targets. The addition of the system allows the vehicle to act as a remotely controlled unit in addition to its transportation and fie support roles.
The vehicle is also equipped with a German Deutz engine, advanced combat module with cannon/missile armament and visibility-reducing complex.
Robotic combat modules are being developed for the BMP-1UMD to enable significantly reduced firing times, while allowing the operator to remain in a remote position while the fighting unit maintains round-the-clock observation missions.
Published: 31 December 2016
Russian UGVs Unmanned Ground Vehicles Soratnik and Nerehta took part in military exercises.
Russian UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) Soratnik and Nerehta took part in military exercises outside of Moscow, practicing reconnaissance and fire support for Russian army mechanized infantry unit. The drones took part for the first time in operational drills with the Central Command of the Russian Ground Forces.
The Russian Nerehta UGV is armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun
Soratnik is a UGV designed to provide reconnaissance along with an aerial drone and fire support. It features a computer control system, protected communication channel, and various sensors.Soratnik is armed with a large caliber machine gun and up to four anti-tank grenade launchers.
Nerehta is a universal tactical platform which can be equipped with various reconnaissance, battle, and transport modules. It can operate autonomously, select targets on its own, and can be commanded in manual mode from a distance of up to 5 km.
At the Russian military exercise the Nerehta UGV was armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun while the Soratnik UGV was armed with machine gun and anti-tank grenade launchers.
Russia has been actively developing new unmanned vehicles primarily for military use. The vehicles include UAVs, ground drones, and immobile combat sentries.
The Russian Soratnik UGV is armed with machine gun and anti-tank grenade launchers.
QinetiQ North America Partners with Persistent Systems to Integrate MPU5 Radios into Family of Unmanned Ground Robots
(Source: QinetiQ North America; issued Jan 10, 2017)
WALTHAM, Mass. --- QinetiQ North America (QNA) and Persistent Systems, LLC (Persistent), the leader in Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) Technology and developers of the Wave Relay system, today announced a long-term agreement to offer for integration Persistent's MANET radio products into QNA's TALON and Dragon Runner ground robots.
The MANET relay radio can connect QNA's ground robot family with a reliable, high throughput, and long range MANET communication system that is self-forming, self-healing, and scalable.
QNA tactical robots equipped with Wave Relay provide:
-- Increased operational range and throughput in urban and subterranean environments
-- Multiple Real-time HD video feeds to the operator from all robots within the MANET
-- The ability for a tactical team wearing MPU5 radio systems to receive video and sensor data from the UGV in real time, increasing situational awareness and operational effectiveness.
"QinetiQ North America has a long history of delivering the most cutting edge systems, sensors, and capabilities on our family of ground robots. Persistent's MANET relay radio products can significantly increase the communication range enabling the robot operator to perform dangerous missions at much greater distances. At the end of the day, everything we do is about keeping our soldiers safe," said Jeff Yorsz , President of QinetiQ North America.
Dr. Herbert Rubens , CEO of Persistent Systems, offered a similar perspective. "Our agreement with QinetiQ North America brings us closer to achieving our vision of a fully networked battlefield. The Wave Relay® MANET also lays the groundwork for autonomous and collaborative behaviors that will dominate the battlefield of the future. We are excited to work with QNA to deliver the most cutting edge technology to the warfighter."
QNA has begun accepting orders for MPU5-equipped Talon V systems.
QinetiQ North America (QNA) is a subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc, QNA delivers world-class technology and revolutionary products to defense, security and commercial markets worldwide. The Company's product offerings include survivability, unmanned systems, power sensors, control systems and transportation solutions. Customers rely on our products to increase readiness, improve mission effectiveness, streamline operations, increase situational awareness and enhance security. QNA is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts
Headquartered in New York City since 2007, Persistent Systems, LLC is a global communications technology company which develops, manufactures, and integrates a patented and secure Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) system: Wave Relay. Wave Relay is capable of running data, video, voice and other applications under the most difficult and unpredictable conditions.
QinetiQ UGVs to get Persistent radios
12th January 2017 - 12:30
by The Shephard News Team
QinetiQ North America will integrate Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) radio products into its Talon and Dragon Runner unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), the company announced on 10 January.
The MANET radios will connect QinetiQ's UGV family with a reliable, high throughput and long range communication system that is self-forming, self-healing, and scalable.
Wave Relay will give the UGVs increased operational range and throughput in urban and subterranean environments, and give the capacity for multiple real-time HD video feeds to be delivered to the operator from all robots within the network. It will also add the ability for a tactical team wearing MPU5 radio systems to receive video and sensor data from the UGV in real time, increasing situational awareness and operational effectiveness.*
Jeff Yorsz, president of QinetiQ North America, said: ‘Persistent's MANET relay radio products can significantly increase the communication range enabling the robot operator to perform dangerous missions at much greater distances.’
EDA Project Highlights Potential of Hybrid Manned-Unmanned Platooning
(Source: European Defence Agency; issued Feb 06, 2017)
BRUSSELS --- A collaborative research project on ‘Hybrid Manned Unmanned Platooning (Hy-MUP)’ has just been successfully completed at the European Defence Agency (EDA). The main aim was to prove that it is feasible to coordinate and operate unmanned ground systems together with regular manned vehicles in future mounted combat missions. It also helped the military community to become familiar with heavy unmanned ground vehicles.
The Hy-MUP project was funded by the two contributing Member States - France and Germany - and carried out by a consortium consisting of ECA Robotics and Thales Optronique SAS for France as well as Diehl BGT Defence and Rheinmetall Landsysteme for Germany. The Hy-MUP project was in fact a continuation of a previous project on ‘Semi-Autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SAM-UGV)’ conducted by the same consortium. Both projects were hosted in the EDA CapTech Ground Systems (Land).
The project’s objectives were to: (i) prove the feasibility of the operation of unmanned ground systems in coordination with regular manned vehicles in future mounted combat missions by analysing and defining use-cases for platooning, (ii) identify the high safety requirements and (iii) develop a demonstrator of a hybrid fleet (manned and unmanned vehicles) to be deployed in convoy reconnaissance and/or surveillance (platooning) missions with a mobile Control and Command Vehicle (CCV) manned driven and an mobile robotized vehicle which can either be tele-operated by an operator from the Control Station installed in the CCV or configured to follow a Leader Vehicle autonomously.
In addition to that, from the military perspective, another project goal was to help the military community to become familiar with heavy unmanned ground vehicles by progressively introducing heavy robotics in the Armed Forces.
Different ‘Leader Following’ functionalities
For the practical part of the project, various case scenarios for using mixed platoons of manned and unmanned vehicles were defined and demonstrated. The Control Station and the communication unit were installed in a Control and Command Vehicle lent by the French MoD. A 4x4 wheels drive civilian vehicle (ISUZU D-MAX) was then equipped with a Drive by Wire capability (including a Drive By Wire (DBW) kit from Paravan and a Robotic kit updated from the SAM-UGV project), several sensors enabling autonomous motion by using ‘Leader Following’ facilities. An additional communication unit enables tele-operation via control station.
Two different ‘Leader Following’ functionalities were implemented and evaluated during trials with various Leader Vehicles, various weather conditions and various environments:
-- The first Leader Following functionality runs two algorithms in parallel: (i) one uses the centre vision camera and (ii) the other uses the information coming from a Velodyne - 3D LiDAR sensor. In case one of the algorithms loses the leader, the other can reinitialize the connection of the first one.
-- The second Leader Following functionality combines the data coming from an algorithm using vision camera mounted on Hy-MUP robotized platform and a sign panel installed at the rear of the Leader Vehicle, on one hand, and an algorithm using information from a Velodyne - 3D LiDAR sensor, on the other hand.
An ‘Obstacle Avoidance’ function which, in real operations, is required to avoid intruders or collisions (with pedestrian or vehicles) was also tested but could not be fully evaluated during the trials due to project constraints.
The Hy-MUP project developed the so-called ‘Hy-MUP system’: it consists of an integrated demonstrator with a Control Station (installed in a manned vehicle of the convoy) and a robotized platform. Teleoperation and autonomous Vehicle Following are available from a moving Control Station. Obstacle Avoidance will have to be further integrated and evaluated.
Even though the Hy-MUP system is not yet fully completed and validated, it nevertheless already demonstrated the benefits and importance of manned/unmanned vehicle convoy capabilities in military operations.
Ukraine company debuts tank-busting unmanned ground vehicle
By: Jen Judson, February 19, 2017
As someone pointed out, you'd have to wonder at the effectiveness of this UGV considering Russian advanced Electronic Countermeasures in the Ukraine................
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Ukraine's SpetsTechnoExport is trying its hand at arming an unmanned ground vehicle, debuting its Fantom vehicle with an anti-tank missile system called Barrier.
The “nearly invisible” vehicle with Barrier and a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun is designed to go up against heavy and light armored targets from a distance of 100 to 5,000 meters, according to a company statement. SpetsTechnoExport is part of Ukraine’s defense company Ukroboronprom.
In addition to Barrier, Fantom is designed to accommodate a variety of different armaments on a stabilized rotating platform, the company added.
The vehicle can even maneuver on sand due to its hybrid all-wheel drive engine, independent suspension and hydraulic brake system. The UGV is also equipped with a secure radio channel.
"The purpose of this project is development of equipment that can effectively perform different combat missions while minimizing risks to the military personnel's lives,” Pavlo Barbul, SpetsTechnoExport’s director, said.
The first Fantom was showcased at an arms exhibition in 2016 in Kyiv.
While unmanned ground vehicles come with a host of mobility and autonomy challenges, arming an unmanned vehicle has always carried an additional level of concern when it comes to operational safety.
But Ukraine, which has continued to fight back Russian incursions for the past several years, has to move quickly to develop capability that can fight effectively against the Russian tank and armored vehicle threats along its border.
Fantom can “perform fire support of ground units, conduct reconnaissance and hold surveillance at block posts or border, deliver equipment and ammunition, evacuate the wounded, as well as be the source of power, and participate in de-mining operations,” the company said.
And Fantom can be teamed with other unmanned aerial systems, likely another answer to counter Russia’s hybrid warfare tactics using drones observed on the frontlines in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army is demonstrating a host of combat vehicles in the role of robotic wingmen this year to feed into the development of the Army’s planned programs of record for both a semiautonomous robotic wingman starting in 2023 and an autonomous version that would come online in 2035.
Last edited by buglerbilly; 20-02-17 at 01:46 AM.
Published: Sunday, 19 February 2017 19:43
SpetsTechnoExport of Ukraine presents the Fantom latest generation of armed UGV at IDEX 2017.
The Ukrainian Company SpetsTechnoExport presents its new development of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) called Fantom at IDEX 2017, the International defence exhibition and conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the first step in the development of unmanned ground systems by the Ukrainian defense industry.
The tactical multipurpose Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) “Fantom” is a remotely operated mini armored carrier. The vehicle is fitted with day and night sighting systems which allows the vehicle to fire at any time of day/night at a maximum distance of 1 km. Its has an operational range of up to 20 km, it is operated by means of secure radio channel or via fiber cable of 5 km length.
The Fantom UGV can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station which can be armed with a 12.7mm machine gun but depending on the customer requirements, the Fantom can be equipped with a wide range of weapon systems. At IDEX 2017, the Fantom UGV was armed with a 12.7mm machine mounted at the front of the vehicle and four anti-tank missile launchers at the rear.
The Fantom UGV is able to perform a wide range of military missions in dangerous areas and in all-terrain conditions. It offers enhanced safety and operational effectiveness by keeping warfighters at a safe distance from enemy attack.
This type of UGV is designed to perform a full range of missions as reconnaissance, observation, target acquisition, communications relay, logistics support platform, rescue, fire-fighting, and medical evacuation (medevac).
The Fantom has an operational range of 20 km. It weighs 1,000 kg and features a high carrying capacity of 350 kg. It can run at a maximum speed of 38 km/h.
The first public demonstration of the tactical UGV “Fantom” took place during the defense and security exhibition “Arms and Security”, in October 2016 at the International Exhibition Center in Kiev, Ukraine.