Russian sources have reported the successful capture of the elusive Estonian robot, THeMIS, previously provided to Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February 2022. This robotic ground platform was a notable contribution from Estonia and marked the first foreign donation openly targeted by Moscow.

To support their claim, the Russian source has presented the robot’s nameplate, identifying it as the THeMIS 4.5 with serial number 45046 and model number MR100585. The nameplate prominently features the logo of the Estonian manufacturer, Milrem Robotics. Additionally, details such as its weight of 1,630 kg, maximum payload of 750 kg, and top speed of 20 km/h are provided.

Last year, the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) announced a reward of one million rubles for military personnel capable of recovering a THeMIS vehicle in relatively undamaged condition. This incentive was doubled to two million rubles following a claim by Estonian intelligence linking the think tank to Russian intelligence services.

In January, Milrem Robotics announced the delivery of 15 THeMIS unmanned vehicles to Ukrainian forces, which have reportedly played significant roles in frontline demining and cargo transportation tasks.

The THeMIS garnered Russian attention early in the conflict in Ukraine, leading to the development of a purported “Russian equivalent” by 2023. A photo depicting this Russian version transporting a wounded soldier surfaced, along with speculation about an installed anti-drone device.

Confirmation of the captured THeMIS suggests that Russian engineers may now have the opportunity to develop a more sophisticated replica, potentially surpassing reliance on mere photographic evidence.

Dubbed the “Estonian ‘Most Wanted’,” the THeMIS robot, developed by Milrem Robotics, stands as a pivotal unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) tailored for diverse military applications. Its hallmark lies in its modular construct, affording adaptability across varied battlefield roles.

Sporting a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, the THeMIS leverages a blend of electric and diesel power for heightened efficiency and prolonged operational endurance. This hybrid mechanism ensures sustained operation over extended durations, minimizing the need for frequent refueling or recharging.

Central to the THeMIS’s prowess is its modular architecture, facilitating customization with a range of equipment contingent upon mission exigencies. These modules span surveillance apparatus, communication relays, and even medical evacuation setups, rendering the THeMIS a versatile frontline asset.

Comprised of robust chassis, advanced sensor arrays, and communication suites, the THeMIS’s critical components fortify its battlefield performance. Engineered to navigate rugged terrain, its chassis integrates seamlessly with sensor arrays for situational awareness and target acquisition, augmented by real-time communication systems for data dissemination.

Operating on a hybrid propulsion system, the THeMIS boasts significant operational range, enduring several hours on a single fuel load, well-suited for protracted missions. Its battlefield utility extends across reconnaissance, logistics support, and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), mitigating risks to human personnel.

Versatility extends to armament options, with the THeMIS capable of hosting remote weapon stations armed with machine guns, grenade launchers, or anti-tank missiles. This armament capability positions the THeMIS not only as a support vehicle but also a formidable combat asset, primed for direct engagement with enemy forces.