After unveiling it at the Singapore Airshow back in February, Milrem and ST Kinetics have conducted the first live fire tests of their weaponized unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), the THeMIS ADDER. Armed with a heavy machine gun, the UGV reportedly aced the tests, paving the way for robots that may eventually be able to support or even replace ground troops on the battlefield.
Two main components make up the modular unmanned vehicle. Milrem's Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) provides the tank-like base, running a hybrid diesel-electric drive that can operate for up to 10 hours at a time. It can be controlled remotely, with the potential for autonomous operation. A central platform between the treads allows the UGV to be kitted out for a variety of military applications, such as remote reconnaissance, counter-explosive missions, supply deliveries or med-evac.
In this case, it was topped with an ADDER remote weapon station from ST Kinetics, and armed with a CIS 50MG heavy machine gun. Together, the THeMIS ADDER represents a long-time collaboration between the two companies in developing a weaponized UGV, and under supervision of the Estonian Defence Forces, the vehicle was put through its first live fire tests last month.
"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," says Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem. "To our satisfaction everything worked perfectly, you can see as much from the video."
The THeMIS ADDER can carry between 750 and 1,000 kg (1,653 and 2,205 lb), and hit a top speed of between 24 and 35 km/h (15 and 21.7 mph). The turret on top can spin a full 360 degrees in a matter of seconds, and hit targets from as far away as 1.8 km (1.1 miles).
The UGV can be seen in action in the video below.