Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Milrem Robotics have signed a strategic cooperation agreement under which the German tank and armoured vehicle systems house will acquire a minority 24.9% stake in the Estonian robotic systems developer, the companies announced on 31 May. From a KMW perspective, the principal objective of the cooperation is to facilitate the integration of leading modern robotics systems into KMW's platforms and systems.

The move is an important step towards the creation of a ‘European Centre of Excellence for Military Robotics’ in Estonia. The objective is to combine the know-how and expertise of both companies to develop innovative solutions to meet the requirements of future military missions involving the interaction of manned and unmanned systems.

"We intend to become the European centre of excellence for unmanned technology and robotics innovations. The partnership with KMW facilitates further innovations for future products and services, especially in the area of the teaming of manned and unmanned systems and sensor-to-shooter solutions," explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

"KMW, as the European market leader for land systems, and Milrem Robotics, as the European market leader for unmanned land systems, are an excellent fit. Our collaboration gives us the opportunity to work on innovative and new solutions that will impact the future of the defence industry. In addition, further synergies are also expected from this cooperation in the context of KNDS," added Horst Rieder, KMW’s Chief Financial Officer.

The THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle, currently providing the basis for major development programmes for the European unmanned systems community. (Photo: Milrem Robotics)

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