MBDA and Milrem Robotics are showcasing the world’s first anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at IDEX 2019, the main defence industry event in the MENA region. The debut of the system’s advanced concept comes only eight months after Milrem Robotics and MBDA announced the start of feasibility studies of the system.
The joint project integrates the Milrem Robotics THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle with the MBDA IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system fitted with two MMP 5th generation battlefield engagement missiles and a self-defence machine gun. “This combination of two of the most modern technologies in their field is a very good example how robotic warfare systems will bring disruption to the battlefield and make some traditional technologies obsolete,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “Our unmanned land combat system under study together with MBDA will be very efficient in keeping our troops safe and significantly increasing the capability to fight main battle tanks as well as any other ground target,” Väärsi added.
The land combat warfare system is intended to be remotely operated. Soldiers can deploy it while remaining at a safe distance and using a wireless or a tethered connection. The system will have a low heat and noise signature so it can stay unnoticed until completing its mission.
“Being delivered to the French Army since the end of 2017, the MMP system is now deployed by the French forces in theatre, where it replaces the Milan and Javelin missiles. With fully digitalized functions of observation, targeting, positioning and guidance, the MMP system is perfectly suited for integration on vehicles, including remotely operated ones” said Francis Bordachar, Military Advisor Land Products at MBDA.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2017 MBDA achieved a turnover of 3.1 billion euros with an order book of 16.8 billion euros. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.
In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).
MMP is a latest-generation land combat missile fully adapted to modern conflict. It replace the Milan and Javelin anti-tank missiles of the French Army and Special Forces as well as the Hot missile in use in the French cavalry units. It is a lightweight “fire-and-forget” missile with a 4km + range, featuring a state-of-the-art dual mode seeker (uncooled infrared and visible colour channels). The MMP is also providing a two-way data link enabling a “man-in-the-loop” control and damage assessment through real-time video received by the gunner from the cameras fitted in the missile’s seeker. MMP operator can hence engage hidden targets or targets beyond line of sight, providing an unmatched accuracy and minimizing the risk of collateral damage. The missile’s multi-purpose military charge (anti-tank, anti-personnel and anti-infrastructure) can defeat targets ranging from heavy tanks with reactive armour to infantry entrenched in an infrastructure.
IMPACT is a 250 kg motorised turret designed for light armoured vehicles. IMPACT carries the day/night sensors of the MMP fire control, as well as two ready-to-fire missiles and a 7.62 mm self-protection machine gun and its ammunition. The firing installation commands are displayed remotely in the vehicle cab so that the crew remains safe from enemy fire and adverse weather conditions thereby increasing permanency in combat.