IDEX 2021: MILREM and John Cockerill unveils new unmanned light tank

At IDEX 2021, defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Belgian company John Cockerill and Estonian company MILREM have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to develop and manufacture a new unmanned light tank using the MILREM tracked robot fitted with a CPWS II unmanned weapon station from John Cockerill.

DSEI 2019 Fantastic opportunity to promote the British defence industry 925 001
New MILREM autonomous light tank fitted with John Cockerill CPWS II weapon station.  (Picture source Army Recognition)

The MILREM robot system Type-X RCV (Remotely Controlled Vehicle) is designed to support mechanized units and will become an intelligent wingman to main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. It will be capable of taking on the most dangerous tasks and positions, resulting in lower lethality risk.

The CPWS II is a low-profile, lightweight turret that can mount the M242 25mm X 137mm Bushmaster cannon or the 230LF, 30mm X 113mm cannon. The Type-X can be fitted with a cannon up to 50 mm hence it will provide equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

“The Type-X provides means to engage the enemy with minimal risk to own troops. Replacing a lost RCV instead of trained soldiers is purely a logistical nuance,” said Väärsi added.

Milrem Robotics’ RCV will be equipped with intelligent functions such as follow-me, waypoint navigation, and obstacle detection with Artificial Intelligence part of the algorithms. However, the true innovation will be Milrem’s totally new and innovative approach to allow remote-controlled operations at higher speeds.

The vehicle’s maximum speed is 80 km/h on paved roads and 50 km/h off-road. The low weight of 12 tons of the Type-X and high power with efficient power management provide a superior terrain capability.

To create the Type-X Milrem Robotics utilized its knowledge gained from developing its THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle, intended to support dismounted troops, that has been acquired by eleven countries, including seven NATO members: the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, France, Norway, the UK, and the US.