The European Commission has agreed to give Estonian national robotics company Milrem almost €36 million in grant money to create a new standard for unmanned military ground vehicles, the company has announced.
The deal, which was signed earlier this month, is set to develop a new generation of battlefield robots.
Known as Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System – or iMUGS – the project will use Milrem’s already-existing THeMIS (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System) vehicle as a reference or creating a “standardized European-wide ecosystem for aerial and ground platforms,” the company said.
The grant money will come through the EU’s “European Defence Industrial Development Programme”, and will be worked on by Estonia, Belgium, France, Finland, Spain, Germany, and Latvia.
According to Milrem and reported by DefenseNews, European countries are expected to need “thousands of ground robots” during the next 10-15 years, creating a market valued in the billions of euros.
“With seven participating nations and key industrial players, the unmanned ground system developed during iMUGS is expected to become the preferred European solution for integrating into armed units,” the company has claimed.