UK Conducts First-Ever Trial of New Heavy Unmanned Ground Systems

The UK has conducted its first-ever trial of three new heavy unmanned ground systems (UGVs).

Organized by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the tests featured Elbit System’s ROBUST UGV, Milrem Robotics’ Type X combat vehicle, and Rheinmetall’s Wiesel robotic vehicle.

Held over more than two weeks, the trials sought to evaluate the heavy UGVs’ speed, terrain, and communication systems.

They underwent “stringent” trials to assess their effectiveness in various battlefield scenarios.

According to British Army Armored Trials and Development Unit official James de St John-Pryce, the test is a step toward identifying what could be achieved on the battlefield in the next 10 to 30 years.

“Make no mistake, we are at step one of a very long journey. But I am excited by what we witnessed during the trials, which were a great example of collaboration between the Army, FCG (Future Capability Group), and our industry partners,” he said.

The Participants

Elbit Systems’ ROBUST 6×6 unmanned wheeled vehicle is armed with a 30-millimeter autonomous turret, an Mk44 30-mm Northrop Grumman cannon, and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun.

It boasts the company’s Iron Fist Active Protection System, which increases the platform’s survivability by improving its protection against anti-tank threats.

The Type X UGV is one of Milrem’s state-of-the-art platforms to support mechanized units.

It is designed to improve troop survivability and lower risks by increasing standoff distance from enemy units.

The Wiesel robotic vehicle from Rheinmetall is the fully digitized version of the Wiesel armored fighting vehicle.

It can be fitted with a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station to launch Javelin missiles.


FCG head James Gavin explained that the two-week trials and demonstration open the door for future capabilities.

He said that all data acquired would be analyzed to see what could be improved and what actions to take next.

“While we are only at the very early, tentative stages of this process, the H-UGV trials have been a success in that they have opened our eyes further to what capabilities can be achieved by uncrewed ground vehicles in the decades to come,” he said.

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