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One of the several recently announced contracts emanating from the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP) is the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS), a 30-month study programme now funded to a maximum EU contribution of €32.6 million after the seven-nation consortium signed a contract with the European Commission. The seven nations – Estonia (lead nation), Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia and Spain – are collectively funding the additional €2 million in project costs. Demonstration of prototypes is expected to take place in autumn 2022.

The R&D programme is aimed at rapid definition and development of the technologies deemed appropriate for use in unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), establishing a modular, scalable architecture for hybrid manned-unmanned systems. In order to facilitate and accelerate the programme, it will be based on an existing UGV developed by Milrem Robotics of Estonia, who will act as the programme coordinator.

The project will develop a modular and scalable architecture for hybrid manned-unmanned systems in order to address a large range of missions and to enable easy update or modification of assets and functionalities within the system: aerial and ground platforms, command, control and communication equipment, sensors, payloads and algorithms. For demonstrating the features of the project, the prototype will be based on an existing unmanned ground vehicle and a specific list of payloads.

The 13 members of the iMUGS development consortium are: Milrem Robotics, Estonia (project coordinator); Safran Electronics & Defense, France; GT Cyber Technologies, Estonia; Bittium Wireless, Finland; Insta Defsec, Finland; GMV Aerospace & Defence, Spain; Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Germany; Diehl Defence, Germany; Nexter Systems, France; Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, Latvia; (UN)MANNED, Belgium; Royal Military Academy, Belgium; Dotocean, Belgium; Estonian Military Academy, Estonia.

An existing Milrem UGV will be used as the basis for development of the integrated solutions envisioned as part of the iMUGS output. (Photo: Milrem Robotics)

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