The Russian Ministry of Defense announced Friday it will establish the first unit armed with strike robots soon, in what could define the future of the battlefield.
"As Chief of the Army Main Staff Vasily Tonkoshurov reported to the defense minister, the first unit with strike robots will be set up in the Russian Armed Forces to operate five Uran-9 robotic systems or 20 combat vehicles," the ministry said.
Russia says it is already setting up an experimental unit in one of the MoD’s scientific research centers. "This center will subsequently train personnel that will operate Uran-9 strike robotic vehicles in operational military units.”
Uran-9 has reportedly been tested in Syria. “Shortcomings were identified during the tests in Syria. In particular, the issues of control, reduced mobility, and unsatisfactory military intelligence and surveillance functions had been considered by engineers and were rectified,” Vladimir Dmitriev, General Director of Kalashnikov Concern, had commented earlier.
The robotic vehicle was earlier employed only as a separate system. Produced by the 766th Production and Technological Enterprise, it is armed with 2A72 30mm automatic cannon, 7.62mm PKT machine gun, Ataka anti-tank guided missiles and Shmel flamethrowers.
Uran-9 was created to protect personnel from enemy’s fire. Its powerful weapons can hit not only live force and lightly armored vehicles, but also tanks, as well as other highly protected objects. The system is built into the Unified Control System at the tactical level, and has protection from unauthorized access and electronic warfare means.
As recently as in December, Russia tested Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile target robots that dodge shooters’ bullets for the first time. The AI-based robots are dressed as soldiers and carry dummy guns. Mounted on wheeled vehicles, they have cross-country ability and can maneuver their way around obstacles and away from the direction of bullets.
RIA Novosti wrote over a year ago that the Russian Armed Forces would receive multifunctional combat robots by 2025. Dubbed “Marker,” the experimental platform was developed by Russian Scientific and Technology Association, Android Technology. It is capable of guiding five unmanned machines, and can solve various combat tasks, simultaneously.