• The UGV took part in a number of different battlefield scenarios. Credit: FN Herstal
    The UGV took part in a number of different battlefield scenarios. Credit: FN Herstal

An armed unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) was deployed by Milrem Robotics and FN Herstal in Estonia during Spring Storm 2019, the country ́s biggest annual military exercise.

The UGV, carrying a .50 cal heavy machine gun, was used by soldiers from the Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion in a variety of different battlefield scenarios, including defensive and offensive actions. Combat missions were simulated and carried out in rural as well as urban areas.

“We are proud to maintain our partnership with Milrem Robotics by deploying our latest developments in realistic field conditions," Igor Klapka, VP Systems for FN Herstal, said. “For the first time, we are showcasing new ways to control the Remote Weapon Station: the operator being mobile with the troops and commanding the weapon thanks to a portable controller and observing via a screen or through display goggles. As always, and more than ever, the human stays in the loop.”

“The deployment of the THeMIS UGV at Spring Storm greatly enhanced our combat effectiveness by adding mobility, increasing the effectiveness of combat service support and reducing soldier fatigue. Furthermore, using the UGV as a force multiplier with FN Herstal’s weapon system increased the effectiveness of battleground firepower,” Lieutenant Lauri Tõnisson from Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion said.

Spring Storm is an annual military exercise with about 10,000 members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup, and a variety of other allied units taking part this year. The military personnel of Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the US, Ukraine, and Estonia participated in this year’s exercise.

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