FN Herstal and Milrem Robotics deploy weaponized UGV at Estonian military exercise


The THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) equipped with the deFNder® Medium Remote Weapon Station
was deployed by Milrem Robotics and FN Herstal
in Estonia during Spring Storm 2019, the country´s
biggest annual military exercise that was held from
April 29 through to May 17, 2019.

The UGV carrying a .50 cal (12.7mm) heavy machine gun
was being used by soldiers from the Kuperjanov Infantry
Battalion who were faced with a variety of different battlefield scenarios, which included defensive and
offensive actions. Combat missions were simulated and
carried out in rural as well as urban areas.

This is the second time that FN Herstal and Milrem
Robotics deployed their joint solution during the Spring
Storm in a continuous effort to perfect the force multiplier UGV for end-users.

“We are proud to maintain our partnership with Milrem Robotics by deploying our latest developments in realistic
field conditions”, said Igor Klapka, VP Systems for FN Herstal. “For the first time, we are showcasing new ways to
control the deFNder® Remote Weapon Station: the operator being mobile with the troops and commanding the
weapon thanks to a portable controller and observing via a screen or through display goggles. As always, and
more than ever, the human stays in-the-loop.”

“The deployment of the THeMIS UGV at Spring Storm greatly enhanced our combat effectiveness by adding
mobility, increasing the effectiveness of combat service support and reducing soldier fatigue. Furthermore,
using the UGV as a force multiplier with FN Herstal’s weapon system increased the effectiveness of battleground firepower,” stated lieutenant Lauri Tõnisson from Kuperjanov infantry battalion.


Spring Storm is an annual military exercise with about 10,000 members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF),NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup, and a variety of other allied units taking part this year. Themilitary personnel of Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,the United States of America, Ukraine, and Estonia were participating in this year’s exercise.

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