Drone tanks

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Two Russian unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) equipped with large caliber machine gun and anti-tank grenade launchers took part in military drills outside of Moscow, practicing reconnaissance and fire support to a mechanized infantry unit.

The video captured at Alabino firing ground in Moscow Region on Wednesday shows two Russian UGVs Soratnik and Nerehta in action. The drones took part for the first time in operational drills with the Central Command of the Russian Ground Forces.

The drones can be seen alongside regular troops, providing fire support.

“During the drills the two modular robotic platforms Soratnik and Nerehta took part in field firing, enacting of a tactical episode with a mechanized infantry squad,” Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Colonel General Oleg Salyukov told reporters.

Soratnik is a UGV designed to provide reconnaissance along with an aerial drone and fire support. It features a computer control system, protected communication channel, and various sensors. Soratnik is armed with a large caliber machine gun and up to four anti-tank grenade launchers.

Nerehta is a universal tactical platform which can be equipped with various reconnaissance, battle, and transport modules. It can operate autonomously, select targets on its own, and can be commanded in manual mode from a distance of up to 5km.

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A T-14 tank with the Armata Universal Combat Platform at the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. File photo. © Anton Denisov

“Some things about the new machines suit us, and some not. The main criteria for the new systems is their usefulness for the army. We had a conversation with the corporate representative. Improvements in all the new machines must be a priority,” Salyukov said.

Russia has been actively developing new unmanned vehicles primarily for military use. The vehicles include UAVs, ground drones, and immobile combat sentries.

Russian mini-drones are being developed to challenge the 16-gram Norwegian-built Black Hornet, used by the US Marine Corps’ Special Ops. Another drone project, developed in Russia, is a kamikaze UAV, carrying onboard explosives. One of the newest devices, unveiled by the Russian military, is a robotic sentinel, designed for guarding strategic missile silos from possible attackers.


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