Royal Thai army nears acquisition of D-Iron unmanned ground vehicle


Royal Thai army nears acquisition of D-Iron unmanned ground vehicle

November 21, 2023

By:Army Recognition

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) is advancing towards the acquisition of the D-Iron Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), developed through a collaborative agreement between Thailand's Defence Technology Institute (DTI) and Estonian robotic vehicle manufacturer Milrem Robotics.

A DTI official revealed at the Defense & Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok on November 9th that the D-Iron successfully completed a series of tests conducted by the RTA's testing and evaluation committee in August in Saraburi, central Thailand.

The D-Iron is an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) designed for a variety of roles in military and security environments. Developed through a partnership between Thailand's Defence Technology Institute (DTI) and Milrem Robotics, an Estonian company specializing in robotic vehicle manufacturing.

These tests included extensive maneuverability trials of the D-Iron on challenging terrains and evaluations of the integrated Remote Weapon Station (RWS) R400S-Mk2 Direct Drive-Heavy Duty (D-HD), supplied by the Australian company Electro Optic Systems, and the 30 mm Northrop Grumman M230LF machine gun.

Besides its offensive capabilities, the D-Iron is also designed for reconnaissance, logistics, and infantry support missions. Its versatile nature makes it suitable for a wide range of operations, including border surveillance and counter-insurgency operations. The D-Iron's ability to perform various tasks makes it not only useful in conflict situations but also in peacekeeping and surveillance operations.

The acquisition process of the D-Iron UGV is now in the hands of the RTA's material standardization committee, which is expected to soon approve the purchase. Following this, the RTA plans to finalize the procurement contract requirements.

The DTI official stated, “All trials are completed. The next step is the review of D-Iron by the standardization committee this month or next. The program will then require funding allocation for the contract and production.” To support the production of this platform, Milrem is expected to collaborate with the local industry.

The DTI official did not comment on the scope of the RTA's requirements. These details will be finalized after approval from the RTA's material standardization committee. However, it was mentioned that the RTA requires the D-Iron for various roles, including infantry support, border surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics, and counter-insurgency operations.