Milrem Robotics Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) have recently been successfully tested by British troops on the Salisbury Plain Training Area.
Milrem Press Release: Four Milrem Robotics’ and QinetiQ TITAN unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) were put through three weeks of rigorous tests by British troops during the Army Warfighting Experiment 2018 (AWE18) – AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR (Land). With four vehicles, Milrem Robotics was the most represented UGV manufacturer in the exercise.
“The main goal of the experiment… was to determine how new unmanned technologies can enhance soldier’s survivability and effectiveness on the modern battlefield,” explained (Captain, Retired) Juri Pajuste, Programme Director at Milrem Robotics, who took part in the exercises.
The test was conducted in three phases: conduct combat operations without the benefit of new technologies; conduct combat operations using new technologies but without changing tactics; and lastly, conduct combat operations using new technologies and adapting tactics according to the capability that the new technology provides. The UGVs were used in a number of different roles with missions conducted in urban, open and forested terrain.
“The feedback from the users was very positive and they were surprised how agile and durable Milrem’s UGV is,” Pajuste added. Of the four Milrem Robotics developed UGVs, two were deployed by Milrem Robotics and two by QinetiQ. The Milrem fielded systems included one configured as a casualty evacuation and logistical support unit and a second unit equipped with a tethered multi-rotor drone pod provided by Threod Systems.
One of the four UGVs was TITAN Strike, a prototype system carrying a Kongsberg remote weapon station, fully controlled by a remote operator and using QinetiQ’s Pointer system as a means of integrating the capability with dismounted infantry. The second system, TITAN Sentry, also enabled with Pointer, featured a Hensoldt provided sensor suite including electro optical and thermal imaging cameras and a battlefield radar.
Keith Mallon, campaign manager at QinetiQ, said: “AWE 18 is the conclusion of months of hard work, maturing TITAN Sentry and TITAN Strike. We have enjoyed working closely with Milrem Robotics and are looking forward to future collaboration, working together with the world leading THeMIS platform.”
QinetiQ also utilised one of the two TITAN platforms in a logistics configuration as part of its work on the UK’s Autonomous Last Mile Resupply challenge, with demonstrations taking place alongside AWE18.
Footnote: In mid-November the editor of JOINT-FORCES.com was invited by both MoD Whitehall and DE&S Abbey Wood to attend the AWE18 – AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR (Land) demonstration on 10th December where we hoped to see, among other systems on test, the Milrem THeMIS in action and then prepare articles on both the exercise in general and this UGV system in particular. Regrettably, on 6th December, our invitation was rescinded on the grounds that the event was “at capacity” but fortunately we have seen THeMIS in action in Estonia and in France so we know how versatile the system is. Our thanks to Milrem’s Export Director for sending this release and the accompanying images of the UGV during the UK trials.