The iMUGS (integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System) consortium, in charge of a €32.6 million project to develop the European standard Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), demonstrated how defense forces can use tactical 4G/5G communications networks, as well as UGVs equipped with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) payloads, jammers, acoustic sensors, and various other technology, to conduct missions.
Latvian National Armed Forces used two Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGVs during two scenarios to display the benefits of teaming manned units with unmanned systems.
One THeMIS UGV was equipped with an ISR payload, SIGINT provided by The Electronic Communications Office of Latvia, Rheinmetall’s Rapid Obscuring System (ROSY) Smoke Grenade Launcher, Bittium’s Vehicular Software Defined Radios (Tough SDR Vehicular), and FN Herstal’s deFNder Light Remote Weapon Station (RWS). The RWS integration was part of the demonstration, but not of the iMUGS project itself.
The second THeMIS, used as a mule for transporting the squad’s equipment, was equipped with Rantelon’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Jammer and Bittium’s Tough SDR Vehicular.
The units and UGVs used Bittium’s tactical communication network TAC WIN that was combined with LMT’s commercial 4G and a tactical 5G-SA bubble provided by Bittium and Cumucore.
In addition, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s (KMW) Dingo infantry mobility vehicle was used as the command center from where UGVs were operated in Line of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) mode using Bittium’s Software Defined Radios (SDR) and to where the ISR and SIGINT sensor feed was relayed and incorporated into LMT’s Battle Management System, Viedsargs.
“For the first time ever, in a special network, a tactical network was connected with a stand-alone 5G network. This allowed communication between units and robots, as well as collecting information from sensors and placing this information into the mission LMT’s Battle Management System, Viedsargs,” said Ingmars Pukis, Vice President and Member of the Management Board of LMT.
“The displayed scenarios showed that unmanned systems, enhanced with innovative communication systems and various defense technology, can be used for collecting and sharing tactical information, improve situational awareness, decrease troops’ physical load, and increase force protection,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
The next iMUGS demonstration will take place in Q1 of 2022 in Finland.