It's official, the future of warfare is just around the corner as Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday, April 9, that the Russian Army will create its first unit with strike robots.
First reported by local news agency, Tass, the Chief of the Army Main Staff Vasily Tonkoshurov reported to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that this unit will operate "five Uran-9 robotic systems or 20 combat vehicles."
Combat warfare around the world is advancing in leaps and bounds with new technology and robotic systems. In October last year, the Russian Army said it would integrate attack drone swarms, robots, and exoskeletons into its next-generation combat gear, and earlier this month, the French Army was training alongside Spot the robot dog, and other fascinating autonomous tanks and UGVs.
В Вооруженных Силах РФ будет создано первое подразделение с ударными роботами, в ближайшее время в военном исследовательском центре будут отработаны формы его применения https://t.co/cvo2uTuEU1#МинобороныРоссии #Робототехника #УдарныеРоботы pic.twitter.com/cWVUjYCHHC— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) April 9, 2021
It's almost becoming the norm to read about military units around the world integrating robotic systems, and this Russian news is no exception.
Much like the aforementioned French Army training, this first Russian unit will be an experimental one, in order to see how well squads operate alongside robotic systems. Per Tass, the Defense Ministry said if all training went well, military personnel would then be trained to operate Uran-9 robotic vehicles.
Uran-9 robotic systems
Manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern, the Uran-9 is a tracked unmanned combat ground vehicle designed to assist combat, reconnaissance, and counter-terrorism units, as well as fire support. The 12-ton robot is kitted out with Ataka guided weapons, anti-tank missiles, Shmel-M rocket launchers, 30mm 2A72 automatic cannon, and a 7.62mm machine gun.
It was first deployed and tested in the Syrian Civil War, where reports said it functioned poorly and was unable to carry out a number of the missions it was assigned. Since then, its range, response time, and data bandwidth have all been improved, and it officially entered into military service in early 2019.
Let's see how it fares now as it makes its comeback in the new Russian Army unit.