Russia-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies said last week it was offering a reward of up to 1 million rubles ($16,330) for the Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System unmanned ground vehicle, or THeMIS.
“The Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) announces a reward of 1 million rubles to any military or law enforcement personnel, or a group of them, who capture the THeMIS platform in Ukraine in a more or less intact state and put at the disposal of the Russian Ministry of Defense,” the center said in a statement.
THeMIS is a multi-mission, unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) being developed by Estonia-based defense and security services provider Milrem, with support from the Estonian Ministry of Defense. The vehicle is intended to provide support for dismounted troops by serving as a transport platform, remote weapon station, IED detection and disposal unit etc.
“We take CAST’s challenge as a compliment,” Milrem spokesperson Gert D. Hankewitz told ERR.
According to Hankewitz, Milrem delivered the first THeMIS UGV configured for the transport of equipment and the wounded to Ukraine at the end of August.
“Upon delivering the vehicle, our instructors also provided thorough training to its future operators,” he added.
“As the delivery was only just last week, it’s too soon to talk results,” the Milrem spokesperson said. “What’s certain is that transport of the wounded is one of the most crucial and also the most physically demanding actions on the battlefield, which is also high-risk. You need multiple people to carry a stretcher, but just one to operate a UGV.”
This difference will allow those freed up to focus on assisting more of those who need it.
“It also doesn’t put those sent to retrieve the wounded at risk,” Hankewitz said, adding that more wounded people fit on an UGV as well. “The UGV can also simultaneously be used to transport first aid supplies, ammunition as well as other gear, such as water, food, etc.”