Milrem Robotics secures contract to supply THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles to Japan

By Defence Industry Europe

Milrem Robotics, Europe's top developer of robotics and autonomous systems, has secured a contract to deliver its advanced THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces. This marks a critical step in Japan's efforts to enhance its military capabilities with cutting-edge technology.


The contract involves supplying three THeMIS UGVs that are tailored for a variety of tasks such as supply transportation and intelligence gathering. The vehicles are equipped with the Milrem Intelligent Functions Kit (MIFIK), which allows for autonomous navigation both on and off-road, empowering operators to plan and execute complex missions with enhanced precision and safety.

Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics, emphasized the strategic importance of unmanned systems in modern warfare, stating, “The goal of the Ground Self-Defence Forces is to fundamentally strengthen its defence capabilities with unmanned assets to achieve asymmetric superiority while limiting human losses.”



The adoption of THeMIS UGVs by the Japanese forces is part of the newly introduced Rapid Acquisition Program by the Japan Ministry of Defence, designed to fast-track the deployment of essential military technologies. This expedited process underscores the urgency and significance of integrating autonomous systems into Japan’s defence strategy.

Milrem’s THeMIS UGVs are renowned for their versatility and reliability, having been deployed by 16 countries, including eight NATO members such as Estonia, France, and the United States. The UGVs’ capability to be swiftly reconfigured for various military purposes—from transport and surveillance to ordnance disposal and combat—makes them particularly valuable for modern armed forces.

Moreover, THeMIS UGVs have demonstrated their operational effectiveness in conflict zones, notably providing support to Ukrainian forces in their ongoing conflict with Russia. This battlefield experience has proven the UGVs’ utility in enhancing soldier safety and operational efficiency.



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As Milrem Robotics continues to expand its influence across the globe, with offices in several countries including the US and the Netherlands, this new agreement with Japan represents a significant milestone in the company’s growth and the broader adoption of unmanned systems in military operations worldwide.

The deployment of THeMIS UGVs is expected to significantly enhance the operational capabilities of the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces, contributing to safer and more effective military operations.


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