Former Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Gen. Riho Terras will take over the defence division of Estonian unmanned vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics.
Gen. Terras' main responsibilities will include establishing Milrem Robotics' international business development and program support teams, leading the process of gaining a strong foothold in the defence market and bringing end user-specific know-how to the company's strategic research and development activities, Business Wire said.
"Gen. Terras' strong background and experience put him in a good position to grow the company's international presence and build up our teams worldwide," said Milrem CEO and owner Kuldar Väärsi. "Our goal is to be the first choice in every upcoming ground robotics programme worldwide."
"I have gained significant knowledge and built up an international network during my seven years as commander of the EDF and as a member of the military committees of NATO and the EU," Gen. Terras said. "My special fields of interest have been development of disruptive and cyber technologies."
Gen. Terras also worked intensively during the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU in order to launch Europe's defence technologies development and the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
"In the last ten years, Estonia has been able to establish a forward-looking modern defence industry with groundbreaking technologies such as Milrem Robotics' THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle," the general added.
Milrem Robotics plans to expand significantly in the next five years. The company opened a subsidiary in Sweden this month in order to engage skilled and experienced engineers. Mr Väärsi told BNS at the end of last year that the company was about to establish a subsidiary in the Swedish city of Örnsköldsvik, home of BAE Systems, the third largest arms manufacturer in the world.
According to the Estonian company's CEO, BAE Systems has in recent years gathered nearly half of its engineers there, and Milrem Robotics sees a valuable base of engineers whose competence can be brought to Estonian developments.
"The ground robotics market is at the beginning of exponential growth, and our products are very well placed," Mr Väärsi said. "We foresee significant turnover growth in 2019, and the number of employees will increase from 85 in 2018 to more than 130 this year."
Editor: Aili Vahtla