Unmanned vehicle to evacuate casualties in Ukraine

Unmanned vehicle to evacuate casualties in Ukraine

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Milrem Robotics in Estonia has shipped its THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to Ukraine to evacuate casualties (CASEVAC) and transport supplies.

A THeMIS UGV with stretchers for rapid casualty evacuation was delivered to a Ukrainian charitable organization. Onsite training was provided upon delivery for the quick deployment of the system, which will be the first use of UGV in an active battle situation.

“Casualty evacuation is one of the most crucial and labour-intensive activities in conflicts. Traditionally, it takes several people to carry a stretcher and required medical equipment. However, it would require only one to operate a UGV, which can accommodate several wounded and a lot of equipment. This means that more personnel are available to help more people,” said Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics.

The THeMIS UGV has an open architecture for rapid configuration, for example from a transport to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal, or supporting intelligence operations. It has been sold to 16 countries, 8 of which are members of NATO, including Estonia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US.

Milrem Robotics is also leading a €30m European consortium to develop a standardised unmanned ground system (UGS) and is working with Qinetiq in the UK on two UK large-scale robotics programs – JTARR (Joint Tactical Autonomous Resupply and Replenishment) and RPV (Robotic Platoon Vehicle), having collaborated on a logistics UGV called Titan.

Last year Milrem demonstrated two THeMIS systems operating together. One UGV was following a human operator walking along a path with various obstacles, with a second THeMIS following the first  then returning to base independently. This was a good example of how the casualty evacuation system might be used in Ukraine.

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