Does the Russian Armed Forces need an analogue of the Estonian combat robot THeMIS

When the first Estonian combat robots THeMIS from the company Milrem Robotics appeared in Ukraine in the fall of 2022, we, of course, had fun laughing about it. Well, how can some Estonians make a real military robotic complex? As it turned out, they very well can, and now THeMIS in the hands of the Ukrainian Armed Forces poses a very serious threat to the Russian military.

The initiator of the project called “Crane” for the acquisition of Estonian robotic systems for the Armed Forces of Ukraine was the ex-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, together with the Ukrainian volunteer medical unit “Hospitaliers”. Russian Center for Strategic Analysis of technologies (CAST) immediately announced a reward of 1 million rubles to anyone who could capture and deliver THeMIS for study in more or less intact condition. Why did he interest domestic specialists so much?

THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System)

The remote-controlled robotic complex THeMIS is the flagship project of the Estonian company Milrem Robotics. However, the Estonian origin of the combat vehicle should not make anyone laugh or mislead, since the project has an open modular structure and is being implemented in the broadest international cooperation, for example, with companies such as MBDA, EOS, ST Engineering, Nexter, Kongsberg and FN Herstal.

Ground-based drone development company Milrem Robotics was founded in 2013, and its military division is headed by the former commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, retired General Riho Terras. At the moment, the robot, in addition to Square, has been purchased by 11 countries, 7 of which are members of the NATO bloc: Estonia itself, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Great Britain, and the USA. In 2019, the transport version of THeMIS (Transport) was deployed during a counter-terrorism operation in Mali, Africa.

Since 2022, several Estonian robots have ended up in Ukraine, but they are practically not used on the front lines. However, there is reason to believe that in the foreseeable future the situation may change, due to the emergence of a new combat model.

Structurally, THeMIS is a remotely controlled platform on tracks, which has a length of 2,4 m with a width of 2 m and a height of 1,11 m. Ground clearance - up to 60 cm, platform weight - 1630 kg, payload - 750 kg (maximum 1200 kg ). The power plant is hybrid: the robot is equipped with a diesel engine and an electric generator. All the main components and assemblies of the Estonian robot are located in the side housings, and most of them are located inside the tracks. The central platform, which has no internal volumes, is intended for the installation of various devices, instruments, weapons and other modules.

The obvious interest of foreign buyers in Milrem Robotics products is associated with the open modular architecture of the robotic complex, which can be used as a transport, including evacuation, sapper, reconnaissance and combat.

Small, yes deleted

For example, the THeMIS Cargo could replace the failed American “robomule” project to reduce the load on US military personnel, providing them with the ability to carry additional cargo while simultaneously increasing the mobility of infantry units. Model THeMIS Cargo Mortar carrier is designed to transport a mortar of up to 81 mm caliber, and Cargo CASEVAC – for the rapid evacuation of wounded military personnel to the point of medical assistance.

Sapper modification THeMIS GroundEye was developed by Milrem Robotics in partnership with the British division of Raytheon. It is designed for remote detection and neutralization by the operator of explosive devices, including those buried in the ground, including those with minimal metal content, both during the day and at night.

THeMIS ISR UGV is a ground-based reconnaissance drone equipped with several sensors that make it possible to increase the efficiency of actions of infantry units, border guards and law enforcement agencies in terms of collecting and processing information. THeMIS Observe with KX-4 LE Titan has on board a multi-rotor unmanned reconnaissance aircraft with several payload options, operating in tandem with a carrier robot.

The most interesting, of course, are the combat modifications of the Estonian robot THeMIS Combat Support, equipped with light remote-controlled combat modules from various manufacturers.

Thus, partner company Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) provided its Adder remote-controlled weapon module, equipped with a large-caliber 12,7 mm CIS 50MG machine gun and/or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The well-known arms manufacturer Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace installed the PROTECTOR remote-controlled combat module on this platform, which includes a 12,7 mm machine gun, as well as a Javelin anti-tank missile system. FN Herstal has installed its deFNder Medium remote-controlled combat module on the THeMIS chassis, which can be equipped with automatic weapons of 5,56 mm, 7,62 mm and 12,7 mm calibers.

As part of the Anti-Tank UGV project, MBDA has developed a remotely controlled IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) module, which includes an MMP anti-tank missile system and a 7,62 mm machine gun. Australian Electro Optic Systems has equipped the THeMIS platform with the R400S-Mk2-HD remote-controlled combat module, which includes a 30-mm M230 LF automatic cannon and a coaxial 7,62-mm GPMG machine gun.

The most alarming project for us was the modification of an Estonian robot with six Hero-120 kamikaze drone launchers from the Israeli company UVision installed on it. These loitering munitions are capable of performing flights lasting up to one hour, carrying a warhead weighing about 3,5 kg.

The logical development of this idea was the version (UGV) THeMIS, armed with EDGE Hunter SP loitering ammunition, which was recently presented at the International Exhibition and Conference of Unmanned Systems UMEX 2024 in Abu Dhabi (UAE). On its platform, the ground drone carries two containers of seven kamikaze drones each.

Hunter SP (from Soldier Portable) strike drones manufactured by Halcon, one of the divisions of EDGE, have a payload weighing 700 grams and fly at an altitude of up to 500 meters above the ground, developing a cruising speed of about 90 kilometers per hour.

In other words, just one ground robot carries 14 deadly loitering munitions at once, which dramatically increases its combat value in modern warfare.

What are we?

It is quite obvious that a functional analogue of THeMIS with its open architecture would also be useful to the Russian army as a transport, evacuation, sapper, reconnaissance and combat ground drone.

It also seems that such a compact tracked platform could become the optimal lightweight carrier for an anti-drone anti-aircraft module to support infantry units, the need for which all sane military experts are now talking about. These could be various combinations of a zushka, a rapid-fire machine gun, a shotgun, a launcher for mini-missiles or electronic warfare, which would cover our infantrymen from attacks by swarms of enemy kamikaze drones, which have become a real disaster.
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  1. AlOrg Offline AlOrg
    AlOrg (Alex Ivanov) 1 February 2024 12: 27
    Well, where is our famous Rogozin on the combat marker? It’s been the last year and I haven’t heard anything about them. Probably pumping up a trampoline for a flight into outer space
    1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 1 February 2024 12: 43
      So the main thing for these: PR and further under the picture “cut”, about surrender under contracts, everything will be transferred to the right, because kickbacks have always allowed “saw and saw” (Armata, Coalition, Hunter, Sirius, etc.). Thus, S. Shoigu recently personally “reprimanded” him for the decade-long delay in delivery under the “Coalition” agreements, and the RF Ministry of Defense has entire armament departments, and what they were doing was kickbacks, otherwise it is impossible to explain such failures. There are samples in the Russian Federation (there are enough at exhibitions), but there are no orders from the Moscow Region. Who is responsible, that the RF Armed Forces do not, but even the “Chukhonites” do. Conclusion: There is no point in blaming the tail, since the head is rotten.
    2. isofat Offline isofat
      isofat (isofat) 1 February 2024 13: 45
      AlOrg, Rogozin’s joke helped Americans visit the ISS on their own? laughing
    3. twice-born Offline twice-born
      twice-born (Unknown) 4 February 2024 01: 56
      Helicopters are riveted in the Donbass. Atones for sins for the "trampoline"!
  2. m.cempbell Offline m.cempbell
    m.cempbell (Anton) 1 February 2024 12: 47
    Can some Estonians make a real military robotic complex?

    By the way, Estonia is a leader in the field of IT and software not only in the post-Soviet space, but also in Eastern Europe
    1. RUR Offline RUR
      RUR 1 February 2024 13: 24
      There are three ahead in the world - China, Russia, Poland... already in 5th-6th place - Hungary, Japan - a significant gap in points

      and I read somewhere that in terms of the total number of medals at the Olympics, China is ahead of everyone, Poland is second...
      1. RUR Offline RUR
        RUR 2 February 2024 17: 41
        The link to the rating data was removed, of course, out of stupid jealousy, envy and impotence...
  3. Nelton Offline Nelton
    Nelton (Oleg) 1 February 2024 14: 48
    Motorized towing vehicles are a long-known and mastered product.
    and cost reasonable money.
    Installing a remote control module and this or that payload is not a tricky matter.
    The question is how passable are such modules in front-line off-road conditions - an abundance of craters, trenches, ruins? (and the barbed wire has not yet been wound on both sides)
    There is reason to believe that the dimensions of a motorized towing vehicle with cross-country ability will not be very good.

    But despite this, it is necessary to gradually saturate the army with such systems.
  4. isofat Offline isofat
    isofat (isofat) 1 February 2024 15: 48
    Apparently, the future belongs to microbes. Where is Chubais with our nano-technologies? No money, no Chubais. request
  5. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 1 February 2024 15: 55
    Again the owl is on the stump, IMHO.
    Before the SVO on Zvezda, I remember they promoted a large number of drones of the Uranus type, with different functionality, size, and power.
    That is, there are analogues, as it were. Carts, anti-UAVs, machine guns, anti-tank guns, etc.
    It’s just that here and on other similar sites there is nothing about them. Secret?
    Or are they not outside the parades?

    Commentators suggested that the sapper URAN is often shown on TV.
    This means carts and anti-UAV
    1. Nelton Offline Nelton
      Nelton (Oleg) 1 February 2024 16: 09
      Quote: Sergey Latyshev
      It’s just that here and on other similar sites there is nothing about them. Secret?

      Why nothing?
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 1 February 2024 17: 47
        I looked at your links - they are normal.
        Developed. Conducted tests. And now, at 24.
        This was enough before. This is something completely different.
        That there has been PR for different types of robots for a long time. And about the use in the army - there are isolated cases of almost homemade products in the media.
        1. Nelton Offline Nelton
          Nelton (Oleg) 1 February 2024 18: 05
          Quote: Sergey Latyshev
          about use in the military

          There is reason to believe that soon there will be more and more widespread use among the troops.
          At both sides. The trend and demand for this is too powerful.
          1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
            Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 1 February 2024 23: 11
            Himself is not funny?

            There is reason to believe that soon there will be...

            - so many hypothetical words, I don’t remember exactly what they are called in textbooks
            Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, they didn’t for 2 years, and before the 24th they did a lot of PR - but then it all went somewhere.... in general, as usual.
            They wrote something similar to VO about the COALITION the other day, saying that they have been at parades for a long time, but there are almost no troops in the army... And Shoigu is giving the factories another blow...

        2. isofat Offline isofat
          isofat (isofat) 1 February 2024 18: 10
          Serge, you want to brag that instead of a wounded head you have AI? Don't be offended, but I guessed this even earlier. smile
  6. horseradish Offline horseradish
    horseradish 1 February 2024 16: 10
    We’ll show everyone how to build a Coalition!
  7. sodium20 Offline sodium20
    sodium20 1 February 2024 16: 54
    Within a span of 2 years Russia became the no 1 country in kamikaze drone warfare with the help of Iran. Russia has the upperhand in modern kamikaze drone warfare. Russia constantly improved the (a) accuracy, (b) lethality and (c) cost effectiveness of kamikaze drones. Kudos to Russia. Russia must share the drone combat experience with the most friendly countries like China, Belarus, Serbia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, N. Korea etc to minimize US presence in the middle east and baltic states.

    Russia must concentrate more on the production, development and improvement (using AI) of modern kamikaze drones.
  8. sodium20 Offline sodium20
    sodium20 1 February 2024 16: 59
    The time required to train combat robots through AI are high. So kamikaze drones will get more preference than the combat robots.
  9. 1_2 Offline 1_2
    1_2 (Ducks are flying) 1 February 2024 19: 20
    A Russian analogue was created a long time ago, it is a “marker” platform (smaller in size than a “nerekhta”), but so far there seems to be no mass production. strippers have no time for this, they urgently need to restore the loss of 1,5 million sets of uniforms
  10. Kuramori Reika Offline Kuramori Reika
    Kuramori Reika (Kuramori Reika) 1 February 2024 23: 38
    Those. Is this thing either a very slow SUV or a very expensive machine gun? How much does it cost? 200 - 300 thousand dollars apiece?? One drone is enough to burn it to hell. And if this one carries supplies so slowly, one drone will be enough to leave the fortifications without water, food and shells.
  11. Flight Offline Flight
    Flight (Von) 2 February 2024 05: 36
    This kind of gadget is good for the Maginot line - bring coffee and buns, stretch a telephone cable or a couple of zincs. In general, this garbage is good for taking out deer while hunting.
  12. canopus Offline canopus
    canopus (Igor) 3 February 2024 13: 09
    We have everything. There is no way to reach the management ONLY.

    Tosha TX-45SM is an unmanned all-terrain platform developed by IP Drobyshev A.N.. It is a technical device capable of moving through difficult terrain without operator participation.

    Dimensions: Length - 2,5 m, Width - 1,8 m, Height - 0,8 m.
    Weight: 350 kg.
    Maximum speed: 70 km / h.
    Travel range: 180 km.
    Load capacity: up to 1000 kg.
    Operating temperature: -20°C to +50°C.


    Unmanned: Tosha TX-45SM
    Maneuverability: Thanks to its design and wheeled chassis, the platform is able to navigate a variety of obstacles, including uneven terrain and water barriers.
    Stability: Tosha TX-45SM is equipped with a stabilization system that allows it to maintain balance when moving on uneven terrain.
    Multifunctionality: Thanks to the ability to install various removable modules and equipment, Tosha TX-45SM can be used in various fields, including transporting goods, inspecting hard-to-reach places, as well as for performing special tasks such as installation or agricultural work.
    Safety: Thanks to the use of advanced technology and sensor systems, the platform is able to detect obstacles in its path and avoid them.
  13. twice-born Offline twice-born
    twice-born (Unknown) 4 February 2024 01: 50
    Cool stuff! What’s stopping you from fighting now with only these tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and helicopters? This would be the “Terminator”, and how many people’s lives would be saved!
  14. Watching Offline Watching
    Watching (Alex) 11 February 2024 22: 37
    As usual, the “unfriendly” ones are ahead. It is difficult to explain why innovation is always somewhere else. And not only in the military field.