Belgian firearms manufacturer, FN Herstal and the Estonian robotics company, Milrem Robotics jointly demonstrated a THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) armed with deFNder Medium Remote Weapon Station (RWS) at the Eurosatory 2018 exhibition in Paris, France.
The demonstration was following a successful partnership in displaying the Medium RWS fitted onto the UGV at the DSEI exhibition in London last year.
Both companies demonstrated the integrated concept of the RWS with the UGV during the live demonstrations. The deFNder and THeMIS are remotely operated, and the latter is equipped with an autonomy kit that allows the vehicle to drive with minimal operator assistance, i.e. between waypoints.
A similar combined system was already deployed successfully at the largest Estonian military exercise, Spring Storm 2017, and during a live firing demonstration in front of international military delegations last December. The concept allows deploying an armed ground vehicle whilst ensuring operators are kept at a safe distance from combat and continue to make all the critical decisions.
The demonstrated deFNder Medium feature a 7.62x51mm FN MAG general purpose machine gun (GPMG). The FN Herstal deFNder Medium also accepts the .50 cal FN M2HB-QCB or FN M3R machine gun without modification. The FN M3R is a world exclusivity by FN Herstal and is capable of firing 1,100 RPM.
The deFNder Medium on the THeMIS is on display on FN Herstal booth, featuring here the .50 cal FN M3R machine gun.
In addition to the deFNder Medium, the deFNder Family of remote Weapon stations (RWS) also includes the deFNder Light, accepting up to the 7.62x51mm FN MAG machine gun, for land applications and the Sea deFNder for naval applications. All deFNder RWS are designed around a modular, upgradable and adaptive architecture and can be integrated onto mobile or static platforms to provide critical infrastructure protection or static perimeter defense to name just a few.