Estonia and the Estonian company Milrem are rewarded with a grant by the European Commission to develop a standard architecture for military unmanned ground vehicles. The €32,6 m deal was signed on December the 11th, and marks the start of a pan-European development initiative to create a new generation of ground robots.
Building on the THeMIS vehicle, Milrem aims to create a reference platform for a ‘standardized European-wide ecosystem for aerial and ground platforms‘. The funding was made possible through the European Defence Industrial Development Programme. Other countries participating in the project are Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia and Spain. Besides the estonian Milrem, several other companies from the participating countries joined the initiative, including Afran Electronics & Defense, Nexter Systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Diehl Defence, and Bittium Wireless.
While the financing of the project consists of relatively modest sums in the defence industry, according to Defense News the project ‘has the potential to shape the European military robotic vehicles’. It is also another step towards a further harmonization of equipment between the different European member states.