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Estonia launching development of common European unmanned ground system

BC, Tallinn, 16.12.2020.Print version
The Estonian company Milrem Robotics and the European Commission have signed an agreement on the basis of which the Estonian state will lead the 32.6 million euro Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) project with seven European Union member states, the aim of which is to develop a standard solution for the European unmanned ground system, informs LETA/BNS.

"It is a great honor for Estonia to lead this project, but at the same time the state also has a great responsibility, as it is an extraordinary project of unprecedented scale. In addition to the successful implementation of this project, our goal is to create a future breeding ground for further development projects," Martin Joesaar, iMUGS project manager at the Center for Defense Investment, said.

"iMUGS is a very good example of European transnational cooperation: seven countries have agreed on common requirements for the technology of the future and have a common plan for how this technology is to be implemented. The system to be set up under iMUGS will definitely increase the defense capabilities of European countries and will be applicable elsewhere in the world," Milrem Robotics CEO Kuldar Vaarsi said.

The project is based on the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) created by Milrem Robotics. The objectives and technical solution requirements for the development of a common European standardized unmanned ground system have been agreed by seven European Union countries, which are Estonia, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, France, Germany and Finland. These countries will fund the project in the extent of two million euros, while all the remaining funding will come from the European Defense Industrial Development Program.

The European market volume for unmanned ground systems will grow to more than a billion euros over the next 10-15 years, as European countries will need thousands of new military systems during that time. The UGV system to be created under the iMUGS project will be based on European needs and requirements, which will ensure a significant competitive advantage in the European military industry market.

In addition to Milrem Robotics, the members of the iMUGS consortium are GT Cyber Technologies, also an Estonian company, as well as Safran Electronics & Defense, NEXTER Systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Diehl Defense, Bittium Wireless, Insta DefSec, (Un)Manned, dotOcean, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, GMV Aerospace & Defense and the Royal Military Academy of Belgium.

Other Estonian companies also taking part in project are DefSecIntel Solutions OU, Threod Systems OU, Rantelon OU and, of research and development institutions, the Estonian Military Academy.

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