Military Review

ALS on trial: winter inspection of combat robots

Perspective models of weapons and equipment must be passed a full test cycle, including inspections in different climatic conditions, before being put into service. The onset of winter makes it possible to carry out tests at low air temperatures on landscapes that have changed accordingly. Not so long ago, the Kalashnikov concern conducted winter tests of a number of new samples. weapons and equipment, including two robotic complexes.

March 6 concern "Kalashnikov" published information about the recent tests of equipment and weapons, the purpose of which was to check the operation of all systems in conditions of low ambient temperatures. The company published a brief description of recent events, and also shared with the public photos and video. The press service of the concern showed exactly what the specialists were doing during the recent tests and what tasks were fulfilled.

Fighter and combat automated system "Companion"

It is reported that the experts of the Kalashnikov concern at one of the testing grounds near Moscow conducted a test of a whole set of various products intended for the army and security forces. A new multi-layered set of military clothing from the 99 Group, various samples of equipment for the fighters, remotely controlled portable platform PPDU, buggy "Tourist", promising motorcycles, etc. came to the test. A special place in the test program was occupied by the combat automated systems "Companion" and "Nakhlebnik".

A short video with selected test moments was attached to a short description of recent events. For obvious reasons, it was mounted in a clip-advertising style, but in this form is of great interest. Viewers were shown how robotic systems can move through the snow and work in low temperatures. Also demonstrated the interaction of automated systems with people in the framework of solving a common combat mission. Of particular interest are footage of the use of weapons of robots. Performing an assault built with a conditional enemy, one of these machines used jet weapons, after which the other system used a machine gun.

"Companion" at the site

Among all the novelties of recent years, recently tested in winter conditions, so-called combat automated systems "Companion" and "parasite". These products are not fully novelties, since they were presented for a long time. At the same time, they still attract attention, and their development cannot but interest the military or the interested public.

Mechanical "Companion"

The project of the Combat Automated System (BAS) “Companion” was developed several years ago, and the first demonstration of the finished sample of this type was held as part of the military-technical forum “Army-2016”. The project provides for the creation of a medium-sized self-propelled tracked platform suitable for mounting various types of weapons or special equipment. The development of the project was carried out by Kalashnikov concern specialists in accordance with the task of the Ministry of Defense.

The basis of the “Companion” system is a multi-purpose tracked chassis. This car, equipped with light armor, is equipped with an internal combustion engine and a mechanical transmission. A tracked undercarriage was used with five small-diameter support rollers on each side. The rollers have an independent torsion bar suspension; some of them also use additional shock absorbers.

On the case of the Companion there were initially several large covers to accommodate the means of observation in the form of video cameras. In the latest versions of the project, which was built on the recently shown prototype, large armor parts were replaced by units of reduced dimensions. In this case, obviously, the characteristics of the surveillance systems are not reduced. The signal from the video camera is transmitted by radio to the operator’s console. Commands for the power plant and transmission, as well as for the target equipment, are sent back through the two-way channel.

On the roof of the body of the armored vehicle there is a seat for the installation of a particular equipment. First of all, the "Companion" BAS is considered as a carrier of light infantry weapons, suitable for defeating manpower, unarmored vehicles and unprotected buildings. In this regard, starting with his “premiere”, the complex was constantly demonstrated with various combat modules. The last tests, during which the “Companion” interacted with the infantry, were no exception.

This time the combat automated system received a turret with a rented placement of small arms. An interesting feature of the new module was the use of an additional shield. A complex-shaped armor shield is installed in front of the main body of the module, designed for the installation of optical-electronic equipment, providing protection against attacks from the front hemisphere and from the side. The machine gun and the block of optics, in turn, are located above the upper edge of the front sheet.

Robot and humans working together

On the left, on the combat module, which passed the winter tests, is a protected unit with optoelectronic equipment. Several lenses on its front wall indicate that the operator has a video camera, a thermal imager and a laser rangefinder, which interact with the fire control system.

To pass the recent tests, the Companion UAS received a set of barreled weapons, allowing to solve various combat missions. On the combat module mounted machine gun PKTM rifle caliber. In the center of the product was an automatic grenade launcher AG-17A. With the help of such weapons, the system is able to fight against different goals that do not have powerful protection.

The product "Companion", depending on the configuration, can have a combat weight of up to 7 tons. The existing power plant allows you to reach speeds up to 40 km / h on the highway. The range of the machine is limited to 10 km. At the same time, the area in which the complex operates should not interfere with the transmission of radio signals to the operator’s console and to BAS.

Solving certain tasks, the Sotovnik robotic complex can work independently or together with people. Thus, during the recent winter tests, an automated system supported the assault on the building. She covered the fighters with her armored corps, and also used standard weapons. Thus, it can perform the functions of a scout, striking machine, or a means of tracking and supporting infantry.

Useful "Freeloader"

Robotic complex "parasite" is a different version of the automated combat system that can solve various problems in different conditions. The main difference of such a machine from the "Companion" are reduced dimensions and weight. Due to this, the new complex can be used as a supplement to a larger machine. Combined use of two BAS with differing characteristics can provide certain advantages.

The project "Nakhlebbnik" started a few years ago, and not so long ago gave real results. In February last year, the Kalashnikov Concern for the first time showed a prototype of such equipment for the next exhibition from the Ministry of Defense. The prototype was demonstrated along with the combat module carrying a multi-barreled machine gun. Subsequently, the project was finalized, and now experienced automated systems may carry other weapons.

UAS "parasite" attacks the target

In May last year, the leadership of the Kalashnikov concern clarified the goals and objectives of the Nakhlebnik project. It turned out that this project was developed as an experiment and was intended for testing various technical solutions. The main goal of the work was to study the new layout options for compact equipment with the most dense placement of aggregates. The experiment ended in success and allowed to collect the necessary data. At the time of the appearance of the new information, as it was stated, the developments on “Freeloader” have already found application in the following projects.

The basis of the BAS "Nakhlebbnik", as in the case of the "Companion", is a multi-purpose tracked platform with its own power plant, chassis and corresponding control systems. Also, the two projects are similar to the use of a reservation that protects the car from the fragments and bullets of small arms. The control is carried out with the help of the operator panel with the transmission of the video signal and commands via a two-way protected radio channel.

A smaller tracked platform is equipped with an internal combustion engine of reduced power, and also differs from the “Companion” in its undercarriage design. This time on each side of the hull there are only four track rollers. Suspension - independent, based on balancers and springs. In the undercarriage there are front-wheel guiding wheels, unified with road wheels, and stern driving wheels.

Rocket grenade shot

Initially, the system "Nakhlebbnik" was demonstrated with a remotely controlled combat module, equipped with a four-barreled machine gun GSHG-7,62. Such a module had a body of a characteristic multi-faceted form with a large recess for mounting the rocking machine gun mounts. On the left side of the case was a block of opto-electronic equipment, on the right - a box for cartridge tapes. During recent tests, the complex had a modified configuration. At the top of the combat module, a pair of pillars were installed, on each of which two rocket-propelled grenades were fixed. For all its simplicity, such a re-equipment of the module in the most noticeable way increased its firepower.

The potential of BAS "Nakhlebbnik" with a combined machine gun and grenade armament was clearly demonstrated in the video. The robot went to the firing line and fired a grenade at a stone building. The grenade pierced a hole in the wall, after which it exploded. Part of the wall turned into wreckage, and a cloud of smoke, dust, snow and steam rose above the “battlefield”.

Unlike the larger “Companion”, the relatively compact “Freeloader”, as it follows from the published materials, only worked on the landfill independently. The teamwork of the combat automated system and people was not worked out. However, from some moments of the video, it follows that the ground-based equipment worked with the use of aerial reconnaissance data obtained using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Automated Perspectives

The combat automated systems “Companion” and “Nakhlebnik”, developed by the Kalashnikov Concern, were presented to the general public in 2016 and 2017. Over the past time, they managed to get enough fame, as well as go through refinement and noticeably change. In parallel with the improvement of projects conducted various tests. According to the latest data, not so long ago, the next inspection of equipment passed, during which it showed itself on a snowy terrain at low temperatures.

The result of shooting - the wall is destroyed

Work on new models of technology continues, and perhaps in the future, combat automated systems will reach adoption for service and operation in the military. It is curious that the developer company plans to create other samples of combat robotic systems. Last spring, it was announced that on the basis of the existing developments, a UAS project with a mass of about 20 tons was being created. The current successes of such a project of particular interest have not yet been announced. Perhaps the first information about its actual results will appear in the very near future. It cannot be ruled out that at the future Army-2018 forum the first demonstration of a new type of experimental car will take place.

Remotely controlled combat vehicles with one or another weapon or equipment are not just a current trend in the field of military equipment. Such systems have a number of characteristic advantages and are of great interest to the armed forces. To date, the Russian defense industry has created a number of samples of this kind, and the development process continues. In the foreseeable future, at least some of the combat automated systems will have to enter into service with the army. Perhaps among them will be "Companion" and "Nakhlebnik", not so long ago, passed the tests in the conditions of the Moscow region winter.

On the materials of the sites:
Photos used:
Kalashnikov Concern /
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  1. Vard
    Vard 10 March 2018 06: 26
    Honestly, the main thing in all this is that people are protected ... Our Russian soldiers ...
    1. DanSabaka
      DanSabaka 10 March 2018 08: 02
      by the way, about people .... how many operators have the complex? What are the control stations? how their mobility is ensured, taking into account that:
      The range of the car is limited to 10 km. At the same time, the area on which the complex operates should not interfere with the transmission of radio signals to the operator’s console and to the UAS.
      1. PAM
        PAM 10 March 2018 09: 21
        This garbage is the biggest minus is its size, weight and price. Then it’s better to make the tank or BMP manageable (it will not cause problems with logistics). We need a compact device so that it is difficult to get into it from a grenade launcher, and it would be difficult to pick it with a light rifle, could easily move up the stairs and squeeze through doorways (for fighting in urban areas, but in open areas it’s necessary, well, if only ride on a guarded perimeter). And his weight should be so that a pair of his fighters could easily turn over in case of failure. Be sure to have a system for determining (fixing) the coordinates of the shot by the enemy (by sound, by flash). Aiming systems, video surveillance and drive (for moving) must always be duplicated.
        This is another cut of the budget and the pushing of unnecessary equipment by the Kalashnikov concern (it was the same with the gun and the machine gun). So they advertise an unnecessary device that can’t cope in the city, but worse than a tank in an open one (why compared it to a tank at such a price)
        1. emwave
          emwave 10 March 2018 09: 38
          wink Offer better - MO will only be happy. You will also "saw".
          1. John22
            John22 10 March 2018 11: 14
            Do you think that to offer MO something, it's simple. Unfortunately. This, as in the royal regime - only they are smart.
          2. PAM
            PAM 10 March 2018 11: 49
            wink Suggest better - MO will only be happy. You will also "saw".

            :) Why does a cat need a horseshoe (as well as this unit for the army)? Just a huge question will be for the Ministry of Defense, although there you can c3,14 billion and get a conditional with a fine of a couple of hundred thousand, and get a high-ranking position in another place.
        2. Okolotochny
          Okolotochny 10 March 2018 12: 08
          There are guided infantry fighting vehicles. In the Military Reception, they showed Derivation, completely remotely controlled. I do not claim that they are entering the troops, but there are achievements.
        3. svd-xnumx
          svd-xnumx 10 March 2018 19: 19
          We need a compact device so that it is difficult to get into it from a grenade launcher, and it would be difficult to pick it with a light rifle, could easily move up the stairs and squeeze through doorways (for fighting in urban areas, but in open areas it’s necessary, well, if only ride on a guarded perimeter). And his weight should be so that a pair of his fighters could easily turn over in case of failure.
          Such an apparatus is available, but I don’t know how Lobaev’s approach to the Defense Ministry is.
          Main characteristics
          A caterpillar robotic complex (35 kg), placed in a satchel, can be transported by a crew of 2 people.

          Armed with a rifle complex caliber 7.62x39 mm.

          Standard stores for AKM can be used for charging.

          There are two channels of aiming - daytime television and thermal imaging,

          Built-in ballistic computer

          Possibility of automatic or manual capture of the target.

          The range of confident shooting on the head with company ammunition is 400 meters, confident shooting at a growth figure is 700 meters.

          Shooting automatic or semi-automatic.

          May use non-lethal ammunition.

          The barrel length can be 200 mm in the assault modification and 400 mm in the universal.

          Able to climb stairs, fire from shelters, window openings, able to climb after falling from any position.
        4. karelia-molot
          karelia-molot 11 March 2018 09: 07
          And fly yet. And swim. And best of all - to move underground, like an earthworm. And so that the armor was like a battleship. And a couple of ballistic missiles (plus two more spares). And the separation of the landing in 2 companies.
          Then it will be good. And everything else is a stupid cut in the budget. It would be better if they handed out money to pensioners!
          1. PAM
            PAM 11 March 2018 21: 17
            Quote: karelia-molot
            Then it will be good. And everything else is a stupid cut in the budget. It would be better if they handed out money to pensioners!

            you, as a liberal, take a piece from the context, pervert, lie and say that everyone is stupid.
        5. max702
          max702 4 August 2018 19: 24
          Today's scientific and technological level does not allow you to implement everything that you wrote .. Alas .. So now antediluvian crafts with exorbitant price and dubious expediency .. Remember the search in BT in the 30s of the 20th century .. What freaks did not exist ..
    2. siberalt
      siberalt 10 March 2018 10: 50
      All one, the future belongs to military robots. winked
      1. g1washntwn
        g1washntwn 12 March 2018 06: 38
        It will, but only if the speed of the correct AI response to the target will be higher than that of a person. So far, between a target and a drone with a weapon, a man sits + small, but switching delays which, moreover, can be suppressed by electronic warfare equipment. Threat recognition is also quite lame. It is enough to launch such a drone at the training ground and it will immediately become noticeable that it is suitable as a platform for fire support, cover, evacuation but not a replacement for a trained commando.
        Currently, you can only make a kind of autonomous "terminator" that is not burdened with the principles of morality and the laws of robotics, will crumble everything that stirs. But forcing AI to make the right decision in various rapidly changing conditions is unlikely, which is why we need a person on the button who will engage in target selection.
  2. tchoni
    tchoni 10 March 2018 09: 23
    Such things simply cannot but arouse increased interest from the representatives of Uncle Vasya’s troops.
  3. emwave
    emwave 10 March 2018 09: 43
    A promising and necessary thing.
    The piece of iron can endure large shock loads without a crew.
    In addition, the drone is good at least in that if it fails, it can be self-destructing (a mine on the go) - there is no problem rescuing a wounded horsepower. tank or bmp.
  4. John22
    John22 10 March 2018 11: 11
    These are experimental developments and each developer has his own views on this. It seems to me that the combat module should be compact, low and have the protection of optical systems and weapons in general. The robot will also be fired intensively. There should not be a universal robot. Special developments are needed. Some break through the defense and suppress firing points, while others, when storming buildings, should be able to move up the stairs and through the rubble, give multi-angle pictures of the situation and the possibility of shooting. My opinion is that breakthrough BRs need to be created on the basis of the BMP (so as not to fool with the new suspension) and not stand out on the battlefield against the usual BMP and BM. And inside, at the landing site, they can carry small assault BRs. For good visibility, raise not a combat module but a lifting chamber. Such thoughts.
    1. max702
      max702 10 March 2018 11: 43
      Quote: John22
      For good visibility, raise not a combat module but a lifting chamber.

      According to the mind, drones with automatic take-off, landing, and recharging modes are asking for the same armature and other BTs. Equip a station for three quadrocopters at the stern of the tower (the price of each in a good body kit is now 30-50 thousand \ r) here you have intelligence and additional eyes BT commander. Let it hang over the machine in 50 meters and transfer the picture to the monitor of the commander and additional operator located at a distance from the DB location, it became necessary to conduct additional exploration by pushing the penny quadric forward, or raise another one, this will sharply increase situational awareness of what BT is now THE BASIC problem with. All this can be done today, technically everything is for this .. Of course, this will not work in the global war (as well as absolutely everything else), but in the conflicts that have been going on for the last 70 years, it was quite true in Syria would increase the effectiveness of the extremely limited contingent there ..
  5. Serge Gorely
    Serge Gorely 10 March 2018 11: 37
    Reminded ,, ingenious ,, Tukhachevsky with his teletanks .. The result of the campaign will be similar (a lot of money in the toilet).
    1. karelia-molot
      karelia-molot 11 March 2018 09: 11
      There would be no wedges - there would be no HF. There is a search for new combat solutions and scenarios for their application. It’s a pity that only mediocre designers and warriors can’t think of the right wunderwafel right the first time. We have to experiment here.
  6. Partisan Kramaha
    Partisan Kramaha 10 March 2018 11: 42
    But I’m wondering what kind of units are in the hands of the fighters in the photo? Something I have not heard about the Kalash-based military personnel in service with the Russian army
    1. Okolotochny
      Okolotochny 10 March 2018 12: 10
      PP “Vityaz”, cartridge Para-Luger. Purchased mainly by the FSB. The Ministry of Internal Affairs purchased PP-2000.
    2. IT-Prof
      IT-Prof 10 March 2018 12: 10
      If I understand correctly, this is PP 19-01 Vityaz-CH
  7. Radikal
    Radikal 10 March 2018 12: 24
    Quote: John22
    Do you think that to offer MO something, it's simple. Unfortunately. This, as in the royal regime - only they are smart.

    yes good hi
  8. Radikal
    Radikal 10 March 2018 12: 29
    It is reported that the specialists of the Kalashnikov concern tested one set of various products intended for the army and law enforcement agencies at one of the training grounds near Moscow.
    One simple and only question is whether they were fired at least with small arms, and what is the result. sad
  9. Xscorpion
    Xscorpion 10 March 2018 13: 27
    Quote: DanSabaka
    by the way, about people .... how many operators have the complex? What are the control stations? how their mobility is ensured, taking into account that:
    The range of the car is limited to 10 km. At the same time, the area on which the complex operates should not interfere with the transmission of radio signals to the operator’s console and to the UAS.

    Ordinary Kamaz with lightly armored kung, which slowly travels a few kilometers from the robot. It can be based on an armored personnel carrier or even a tank to increase the protection of operators. 10 km is a lot. Many settlements can be traveled without entering people. Judging by all these robots for battle in small settlements. Operators are located at a distance of 2-3 km from the village and launch robots there. They are gradually scouring street after street, special forces, which follow the robots at a distance of 500-600 meters, take up the tested streets. targets, the robot destroys them independently, either with the support of special forces, or directs artillery and aircraft if the target is difficult to destroy. The task of these robots is not to win the war on their own, but to minimize the risk for our fighters who do not have to go to battle first, as well as firing points the enemy, that is, cause the enemy to fire on themselves and force themselves to unmask, that is, prevent our guys from getting ambushed. It's just as easy support for the actions of the MTR, what’s bad that the AGS, the heavy machine gun and the ATGM, which do not need to be carried around, will be nearby at the right time?
  10. TOR2
    TOR2 10 March 2018 21: 05
    As shown in the video, these robotic systems are more suitable for special. units. If you touch upon issues of equipping army units, a number of questions arise. How will these complexes move on the march? How will their repair and maintenance be carried out? Won't they become a burden on parts?
    Without arguably, such complexes are needed, but whether they will be in demand in large quantities.
    At the end of 0x, two T-72 robotization projects started right away, and the projects are interesting. One of them is shown in this video.

    From an economic point of view, it is much cheaper. Such a tank can be used with or without a crew. For example, 4 to 5 robotic T-72s can be combined into a single network. The role of the commander's tank will be played by the heavy BMP T-15.
    In addition, they know well how to service the T-72 in units.
  11. Urantian
    Urantian 11 March 2018 16: 10
    It is necessary to test and test them in the DNI, in real combat conditions ... and to our help ...
    1. Whisper
      Whisper 13 March 2018 21: 50
      You won’t be able to make candy right away, because it is not clear what it should be. Only constant work in each area can give a result.
      Need more robots.