Russia Developing Two New Unmanned Tanks

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The Russian Ministry of Defense is at work developing two new robotic tanks. The two unmanned robots are complementary vehicles, designed for heavy combat and assisting infantry forces. The tanks are called Shturm (Storm) and Soratnik (Ally), with the Shturm being a heavy, more tank resembling vehicle and the Soratnik being a lighter unmanned vehicle.

Both robots were first developed by the Russian industry, however the Russian Ministry of Defense has then decided to pursue the projects and develop them on their own.

The heavier Shturm tank was designed by Uralvagonozavod, the company responsible for building Russia’s main battle tanks. The Shturm is based on the T-72 Russian tank’s chassis. It is designed to operate with a 125 millimeter cannon, as well as a wide range of secondary weapons, including anti infantry machine guns, anti tank missiles, and a 57 millimeter cannon.

The Shturm could be used for breaching fortified firing points or position. It could also be used to provide protection for manned or unmanned formations in urban warfare.

The Soratnik has been developed to operate in manned-unmanned joint operations. The Soratnik is just like its name implies, an ally to infantry forces. Developed by Kalashnikov, the light tank has already been tested as a platform for human-robot collaborations on the battlefield. Even though the Soratnik’s weapons are much lighter than the Shturm’s, the light tank will host weapons from heavy machine guns to grenade launchers and anti tank missiles, according to C4isrnet.com.

The two robotic tanks are just part of a Russian effort to rely more and more on unmanned and autonomous technologies on the battlefield, thus decreasing the risk the country’s soldiers are exposed to.