And it comes eerily close to what we have here, a video of an urban warfare training exercise conducted back in September in Latvia using ground forces, ATVs, and a number of unmanned ground systems (UGS), or drones as we like to call them.
The stars of the drill were the THeMIS, machinery developed by Estonian defense contractor Milrem. We’ve featured them before here on autoevolution, including back when they used to fire their machine guns and shred parked vans to bits.
This time, two of these THeMIS things were deployed not as combat hardware, but support. One acted as an Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform, and the other was used as a mule for transport equipment.
The one-and-a-half-minute long video attached below shows these things (and others) in action, accompanying their fellow human soldiers on the simulated battlefield, with the whole vista looking just like scenes from sci-fi movies or video games.
Generally speaking, the THeMIS is tracked vehicle that gets its power from a hybrid diesel-electric drive. It can carry payloads weighing as much as 750 kg (1,650 pounds) and can be configured to support a variety of tasks, from support ones like we have here, to more active combat roles as mortar carriers or machine gun platforms.
11 countries are at the moment using Milrem’s solutions, seven of them NATO members. The company making it has even set up a consortium tasked with creating a standard “for ground platforms, command, control and communication equipment, sensors, payloads, and algorithms.”
Meaning weaponized systems such as these, autonomous to some degree, are not here only to stay, but expand their reach as well.