ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Emirati defense conglomerate Edge Group announced that its Estonia-based entity Milrem Robotics will provide 60 robotic combat vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles to the UAE military.

The contract between Milrem and the country’s Ministry of Defense was announced at the three-day UMEX drone fair here that began Jan. 23.

The deal will include the procurement of 20 tracked robotic combat vehicles and 40 THeMIS unmanned ground vehicles for the Gulf country, highlighting the government’s investment in military ground robots.

In a news release, Edge referred to the purchase as the world’s largest combat robotics program. The company did not disclose a price tag.

“The contract includes the supply of tracked RCVs with 30mm MK44 cannons, THeMIS combat units equipped with 30mm M230LF remote weapons stations and indirect fire systems, and THeMIS observe units with radar and camera systems, including shot detection capabilities,” the company statement reads.

Milrem unveiled the newest generation of the THeMIS vehicle at the 2018 edition of UMEX, several years before the company was acquired by Edge Group.

In September, the Estonian firm also debuted an armed version of the vehicle featuring the Hunter 2-S loitering munition, manufactured by Halcon, another Edge subsidiary. The Emirati-made aerial drones are advertised as being the first of their kind to possess swarming technology.

As part of the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, released by the government in 2018, officials want to make the country into a test bed for AI capabilities.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in reporting on the aviation sector. She is based in Milan, Italy.

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