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The Russian special forces will be equipped with a new advanced robotic system – a gun-toting combat robot tank called Nerekhta.

The tank will be able to destroy heavy armor and fortifications all by itself by driving up close and detonating itself. The mini-robot developed and made by the Degtyaryov Plant features high maneuverability and low observability – it can sneak up on the enemy utterly silently, according to

The robot will be part of Russia’s Future Soldier equipment.

The Nerekhta has been put on the list of promising robotic systems earmarked for entering service with the Russian Armed Forces. If the platform proves itself in the trials, it will enter the inventories of the reconnaissance units and special forces.

According to Degtyaryov Deputy Chief Designer for Robotics Dmitry Fufayev, “The light tracked platform has been used as a mobile target from the outset, but at the military’s request we have tailored it to carry radio-controlled explosive devices,” Fufayev explained. “The robot is in the in-house trials, and we continue to improve it.”

The Nerekhta is based on a light chassis with rubber tracks. It looks like a mini-tank, with the turret replaced by a container stuffed with high explosives. The robot is clad in armor protecting it and the high explosives against small-arms fire and fragments.

Weighing 300 kg and measuring just above 1 m long, the robot can noiselessly haul several hundred kilograms of high explosives at a speed of 11 km/h, propelled by its electric motor.

The tracked platform is fit for reconnaissance, fire, fire adjustment and cargo carriage. The robot was unveiled at the Russian Defense Ministry Innovation Day in 2015.

The robot mounts 7.62-mm and 12.7-mm machineguns and may well be equipped with a new machinegun to be developed specifically for it.

The operating principle of the robot’s guidance system is simple enough. Prior to a battle, the battlefield map and the grids of the targets subject to elimination are downloaded in its memory. In battle, commandos only need to push a button on their control console to select a pre-set target. After receiving the radio command, the Nerekhta will move to the target on its own and destroy it.

At present, the most promising foreign kamikaze robots are the Israeli-made Rambot and South Korean-developed iRobot FirstLook. They are rather miniature vehicles popular with cops and tailored to deal with terrorists and criminals indoors.

“Essentially, the foreign kamikaze robots are nothing more than mobile radio-controlled hand grenades,” expert Alexei Khlopotov explained. “They are simply thrown into a window and then they deliver a small amount of high explosive to the malefactors hunkering down in the building.” At the same time, the Nerekhta can destroy main battle tanks and pull down whole buildings, while being rather diminutive and agile.