Milrem Robotics has announced that, in conjunction with a consortium of several major defence, communication and cybersecurity companies and high technology SMEs, it has submitted an application to the European Commission’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) for a multi-mission unmanned ground system capable of being teamed with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other platforms. The EDIDP programme aims to solidify the strategic autonomy of the European Union and to strengthen the cooperation between Member States.
The system will be based around a modular unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) integrated with an EW (electronic warfare)-resistant command, control and communications solution, as well as secure autonomous mobility software. Operators of the UGV will also be able to control multiple additional manned and unmanned land and air vehicles, providing a flexible and versatile solution for a variety of missions including military operations, force protection and situational awareness enhancement.
The project, known as iMUGS (integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System), is being developed within the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) policy framework, and has been officially adopted by 25 EU defence Ministers. iMUGS is being led by Estonia and technical requirements have been agreed with Finland, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain.
The iMUGS project will gather operation expertise and develop concepts for the combined engagement of manned and unmanned platforms, as well as examine the ethical aspects applicable to robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. To support the development of the unmanned ground platform, state-of-the-art virtual and constructive simulation environments will be created.
”A number of European nations will start using unmanned vehicles in logistics and ISR roles, reducing the physical and cognitive load and increasing the safety of our troops. It’s important that this new capability will be well integrated with existing capabilities and force structure,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “It’s equally important that these new unmanned systems are safe to use and cyber protected. This is exactly the scope that iMUGS is targeting.”