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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

16 September 2015

DSEI 2015: Estonian Prototyping

A new concept for a multipurpose Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) has been developed by MILREM AS from Estonia. Named UGV Type 1, the vehicle is set for a variety of mission scenarios, including communication relay; Medevac; CBRN detection; firefighting; and training. MILEM’s plan is to offer the new vehicle as a digital infantry battalion solution; but, the UGV can also be employed as an autonomous control system or for “swarming” missions. The latter is generating much interest as a methodology for the control of large groups of vehicles. Because “swarms” can afford a high degree of robustness and flexibility, MILREM seems to be eager in creating the appropriate measures aimed at guiding and controlling unmanned vehicles, and to avoid failures in critical missions, such as in urban environments.

The first prototype UGV Type 1 showcased in London (seen here carrying a RWS) is the first platform of this kind to utilise ultracapacitor technology.  (Photos: Stefan Nitschke)

The company’s philosophy is to also promote an armed platform for carrying a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) or an anti-tank weapon. The platform is suited to carry sensors, weapons, and other equipment available from different international manufacturers. MILREM’s R&D engineer Lauri J├╝rgen confirmed that the company is working with companies and R&D facilities in Estonia that will help promote the vehicle for a wider range of military and security applications. He named the Estonian company Skeleton Technologies which provided its ultracapacitors. They represent a highly efficient form of energy storage, offering lifetimes up to 500 times longer than conventional batteries.
Gert D. Hankewitz, MILREM’s Project Manager, told MT that the vehicle presented in London is the first prototype platform that will undergo extensive testing by the Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the near future. He expects considerable interest by the Estonian military; but, the company will not ignore international markets, primarily in Asia and North America. “There is an increasing demand for [hybrid] UGV platforms [specifically] in the US military”, he noted.
Stefan Nitschke

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