Russia Prepares an Unmanned, Armored, Drone-Charging Truck Against Ukraine

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The Russian armed forces will reportedly test the latest modification of the Zubilo unmanned armored vehicle, manufactured by Remdizel JSC. The test will take place in multiple sites simultaneously, including in Ukraine, to fulfill the Russian army’s need for a multipurpose armored vehicle.

Igor Zarakhovich, the chief designer of Remdizel JSC, explains that the primary objective of the unmanned platform is to reduce the need for human intervention in risky combat regions.

Zubilo (also known as Chisel) has recently undergone various modifications to meet the needs of the Russian armed forces, including reduced weight and increased agility on the battlefield. Zubilo’s maker reports it is designed to support assault groups, transport ammunition, transport cargo and wounded people, and recharge radio stations and quadcopters. They add that depending on the need, the multipurpose vehicle can also be equipped with an anti-aircraft gun or a combat module.

According to Interesting Engineering, the unmanned platform weighs 16 tons and is built on a 7.65-meter chassis with a 4×4 wheel arrangement. The base model can reach speeds of up to 100 kph on conventional roads and climb 30-degree slopes off-road.

However, the most notable addition is Zubilo’s use as a charging and launching station for other combat drones, since its size enables it to carry large batteries that can be used to recharge other drones. This feature is expected to significantly improve how reconnaissance drones function at the war front, as being able to recharge at the frontline could enable them to function much more rapidly.

When it comes to Russia’s need for armored combat vehicles, the Russia-Ukraine war has been reportedly taking a toll on Russia’s resources and might have forced them to rely on older combat vehicles. An example of this is the recent sighting in Ukraine of Ladoga, a rare armored personnel carrier from the Cold War era, showing the army is desperate for armored combat vehicles.