Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG
The leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer, Milrem Robotics, and the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have signed a contract to deliver 14 THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) to Ukraine.
Of the 14 vehicles, seven will be configured for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year. The other seven, to be delivered in the second quarter of 2023, will be configured for route clearance with payloads from the French defence manufacturer CNIM Systèmes Industriels.
The effort is being funded by the German Ministry of Defence.
“Casualty evacuation and route clearance are two labour-intensive activities that require the engagement of several people who remain in constant threat of enemy fire. Automating these tasks with unmanned vehicles alleviates that danger and allows more soldiers to stay in a safe area or be tasked for more important activities,” explained Captain (res) Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics.
Milrem Robotics delivered one CASEVAC THeMIS to a Ukrainian charitable organization earlier this year that has proven to be a valuable asset.
“The deployment of the THEMIS UGV to Ukraine means that the Ukrainian forces can increase the safety of their soldiers and let the UGVs handle tasks that are an immediate threat to humans. That is the ultimate purpose of robotic systems. Milrem Robotics is proud to be able to contribute to Ukraine’s fight against the aggressor,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
"This important project gives evidence of our common ability to provide advanced technology to Ukraine. We are determined to support Ukraine with protective and lifesaving equipment. The fast delivery of 14 THeMIS UGVs proves that KMW and Milrem are partners you can rely on,” said Ralf Ketzel, CEO of KMW.
THeMIS is a multi-mission unmanned ground vehicle with an open architecture that enables it to be rapidly configured from having a transport function to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal or supporting intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission.
The THeMIS UGV is already part of different programs in 16 countries, including eight NATO members: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US.
KNDS (KMW+NEXTER Defense Systems) is the result of the association of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter, two of the leading European manufacturers of military land systems based in Germany and France.
KNDS forms a Group of around 9,000 employees, with a 2022 turnover of 3.2 billion euro, an order backlog of around 11 billion euro and incoming orders of 3.4 billion euro. The range of its products includes main battle tanks, armored vehicles, artillery systems, weapons systems, ammunition, military bridges, customer services, battle management systems, training solutions, protection solutions and a wide range of equipment.
The formation of KNDS represents the beginning of consolidation in land defense systems industry in Europe. The strategic alliance between KMW and Nexter enhances both groups’ competitiveness and international positions, as well as their ability to meet the needs of their respective national army. In addition, it offers to its European and NATO customers the opportunity of increased standardization and interoperability for their defense equipment, with a dependable industrial base.
KNDS headquarters are based in Amsterdam.