In a move that could signal a new stage of the conflict, a Russian think tank announced a $16,000 bounty for the capture of a robotic vehicle deployed by the Ukrainian military.
It is the groundbreaking THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which has already been seen in the hands of Ukrainian troops, and Russia wants to copy its technology to launch its own UGV.
UGVs are more valuable than ever in warfare
THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle shown at #IDEX equipped with the EOS R400S Mk2-HD (dual) RWS mounting a 30mm M230LF cannon and 7.62mm co-axial machine gun. Tracked (so highly mobile in rough terrain), very low profile with a versatile, high-lethality weapons fit. Like it! pic.twitter.com/xrj6Azm29Q— DTR Magazine (@DTRmag) February 20, 2019
In the past, wars were fought using primarily ground troops. However, with the advent of drones and unmanned vehicles, that is starting to change – and UGVs are becoming increasingly important.
They can go to places that most troops can’t. They travel through dangerous terrain without putting soldiers at risk. UGVs can be equipped with advanced sensors and cameras to gather intelligence about the enemy’s movements and position.
And, of course, UGVs usually feature the latest state-of-the-art weapons, making them a valuable asset in combat situations.
In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have used robotic vehicles to support its troops in Eastern Ukraine – and the Milrem Robotics THeMIS has been at the forefront of these weapons.
The cutting-edge Milrem Robotics THeMIS
Ukraine will receive Estonian tracked unmanned platforms “THeMIS”— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) September 1, 2022
“THeMIS” robot is controlled remotely. It can be used to take out wounded fighters from under fire or for the supply of ammunition and other cargo.https://t.co/vp9JzQRD8P
Milrem Robotics is a leading manufacturer of military-grade robots. The company’s products are known for their quality and durability, and its customer service is highly rated.
Its latest UGV is the THeMIS robot, a versatile and rugged vehicle designed for a variety of military applications. The all-terrain vehicle can be equipped with numerous payloads, including surveillance cameras, chemical sensors, and remote-controlled weapons.
In addition, the THeMIS is capable of carrying out complex missions using its artificial intelligence system, which allows it to make decisions and accomplish tasks without human intervention.
The Milrem Robotics THeMIS combat robot for the evacuation of the wounded was handed over to the #Ukrainian military by volunteers.#UkraineRussiaWar #UkraineWar #UkraineRussianWar #UkraineWillWin #Ukraine️ #UkrainianArmy #Ukrainians pic.twitter.com/wWVRIVLbgG— 🇺🇦Ukraine News Live🇺🇦 (@UkraineNewsLive) August 30, 2022
Currently, the THeMIS is Milrem Robotics’ flagship, and it has been a valuable asset for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and transportation of supplies.
But, the most outstanding feature of this vehicle is that it features a variety of sensors and cameras, which provide situational awareness and allow operators to deploy it in dangerous environments.
It is based on the Milrem Robotics Type-X, which is also a versatile and powerful UGV with a 50mm autocannon and a 7.62mm machine gun.
However, the THeMIS has more advanced weapons. It features a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL), 30mm autocannon, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), and loitering munition launcher, among other weapons.
…and Russia wants to reverse engineer its tech
The Russian Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) announced a $16,428 reward for the capture of a THeMIS UGV in good conditions.
While this amount is not huge, it’s more than the average Russian soldier would earn in a year. So, capturing one of these vehicles with as little damage as possible may be attractive to troops deployed in eastern Ukraine.
It has a high value for Russia because it could allow Russian engineers to build their own version of this UGV. If reverse engineered, it would be used jointly with Russian UGVs like the Uran-9.
The Uran-9 is a remote-controlled robot that can be equipped with a variety of weapons, including a machine gun, a grenade launcher, and anti-tank missiles.
- Type: Unmanned ground vehicle
- Country of origin: Estonia
- Manufacturer: Milrem Robotics
- Produced: Since 2015
- Mass: 1,630 kilograms (3,590 pounds)
- Length: 2,40 meters (94 inches)
- Width: 2 meters (79 inches)
- Height: 1,15 meters (45 inches)
- Payload capacity: 1,200 kilograms (2,600 pounds)
- Operational range: 1,5 kilometers (0,93 miles)
- Maximum speed: 20 km/h (12 mph)
Russia desperately seeks new technologies for its troops
Since Ukraine deployed the THeMIS, Russia has been looking to catch one to study its technology in-depth and develop new technologies that will allow it to engage Ukraine and its allies more effectively.
However, capturing one of these vehicles doesn’t seem to be an easy task, especially if it is armed. Capturing a UGV like this one in excellent conditions won’t be easy because it’s heavily guarded – and it has missile launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns to defend itself.
Featured image credit: THeMIS 5th generation UGV by Milrem Robotics. Licensed under CC by 4.0.