Combat and engineering. Robotic systems for the Russian army


RTK "Uran-6" of the ZVO engineering unit during exercises, January 2021. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

In the interests of the Russian army, ground-based robotic systems for various purposes are being developed. Some of these products have already been put into service and are being mass-produced, while others are still at the stage of testing and development, but will soon go to the troops. The development of new samples with different capabilities and improved characteristics is also underway.

Unified family

The most famous among modern domestic robotic systems (RTC) have managed to get the products of the Uranus family, developed by the 766th department of production and technological equipment. Now this line includes three RTKs for different purposes on a unified chassis. Two versions of the complex have already been brought to series and are being operated by the troops.

Operator "Uranus-6" in Syria. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The first in the family was the Uran-6 multipurpose engineering robot. It was created in the first half of the tenth years with the aim of re-equipping the engineering troops. This RTK is built on a tracked chassis with an armored hull and can use several types of working bodies. The main ones are various trawls for mine clearance, but other tasks are also possible.

After all the necessary tests and experimental military operation, incl. using on real minefields in Syria, "Uran-6" was recommended for adoption. By 2018, "766 UPTK" organized the serial production of such equipment, and in 2019 the first batch of these RTKs entered the engineering troops of the Russian army.

Combat "Uranus-9". Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Since then, there have been regular deliveries of small batches of equipment intended for engineering units from different military districts and regions. RTKs are actively used in various training activities and in combat demining of dangerous areas, in our country and abroad.

The Uran-9 combat complex was built on a unified chassis. This project is distinguished by the contours and design of the hull, and also provides for the installation of an advanced combat module. Such a RTK is equipped with a 30-mm automatic cannon and machine gun, carries rocket-propelled grenades or guided missiles, and also receives a complex of optoelectronic and other equipment for driving, searching and hitting targets. In this configuration, "Uran-9" can fight various ground and air targets. The possibility of using anti-aircraft missiles is being studied.

Robot "Uran-9" is one of the last parties. The next Uranus-6 is visible behind it. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Since the mid-tenths, "Uranus-9" passed various tests in the conditions of the test site, and in 2017-18. the equipment was tested in Syria. Based on the results of all these activities, the RTK was revised and improved. In January 2019, it became known that "Uran-9" was put into service, and even the production of the first serial batch of such equipment is being completed.

In the future, the Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported on the supply of RTK "Uran-9" to the combat units of the engineering troops. The last news of this kind took place in April of this year. Then the transfer of five complexes with four combat robots in everyone. Serial "Uranus-9" has been regularly involved in army maneuvers since the testing period.

New order

The other day the Ministry of Defense announced that at the Army-2021 forum a contract would be signed for the supply of the Uran-14 fire extinguishing system. The volume of supplies and the cost of such an agreement have not yet been announced. Perhaps this information will be disclosed later, after placing the order.

Multipurpose "Uran-14" overcomes the blockage. Photo "766 UPTK"

Robot "Uran-14" is designed to dismantle debris and extinguish fires. It is distinguished by the presence of tanks for water and a foaming agent with a total capacity of 2600 liters. On the nose of the hull there is a gripper, a blade or other engineering equipment, and an arrow with a fire barrel is installed on the roof. The armored body protects components and assemblies from possible damage, and overheating of the structure is excluded due to the self-cooling system.

Over the past few years, "Uran-14" has been tested in the conditions of test sites. In addition, experienced RTKs of this type were involved several times in real rescue operations and in extinguishing fires at military facilities. Based on the experience of these events, the Ministry of Defense is preparing to order serial equipment.

Middle class

In parallel with "Uranus", RTKs of other classes are being developed, incl. based on existing technology. So, VNII "Signal" continues to work on the "Impact" project. It provides for a minor restructuring of the serial BMP-3 with the installation of a new combat module and the installation of autonomous and remote control systems. Also, "Strike" can be carried by unmanned aerial vehicles that increase situational awareness.

RTK extinguishes the fire. Photo "766 UPTK"

Over the past few years, the experienced "Udar" regularly goes to the training ground and participates in military-technical exhibitions. This year, it was reported about the successful development of technical vision and autonomous control on the route. RTK has confirmed the ability to move independently on different routes.

The timing of the completion of work on the "Impact" is unknown. At the same time, the developers indicate the possible areas of its application. In an autonomous or remotely controlled mode, such a RTK will be able to conduct reconnaissance, patrol and solve other tasks.

Heavy analogue "Uranus"

VNII "Signal" is also working on the subject of engineering RTKs, however, it is engaged in heavy equipment. Several years ago, the robot "Pass-1" was shown for the first time, which is a remotely controlled demining vehicle with the ability to work with a crew.

Experienced RTK "Udar". Photo by VNII "Signal"

"Pass-1" is made on the basis of the main tank T-90 and is distinguished by the absence of a turret and additionally reinforced protection of the hull and superstructure. In the bow, there are mountings for the installation of trawls of various models, roller, electromagnetic, etc. For self-defense, the vehicle (if there is a crew) can use a large-caliber machine gun.

Engineering RTK has several modes of operation. The control can be carried out by the crew from workplaces in the building, from a remote control panel via a radio channel or in an autonomous mode. In the latter case, the armored vehicle independently passes along the specified route. Effective work in all modes is confirmed by tests.

A variant of the "Impact" with a different combat module. Photo by NPO "High-precision complexes"

It is assumed that the "Pass-1" at the tank base has every chance of entering service and supplementing other equipment of engineering units. Depending on the tasks that arise, he will be able to work independently or together with other equipment, incl. with existing and prospective RTKs.

Directions of development

Since the beginning of the last decade, the Russian army and defense industry have been paying great attention to the topic of robotic systems for combat, reconnaissance and other purposes. New projects were launched and a variety of samples were developed. As a result, by now we are talking not about individual projects, but about a full-fledged direction with great prospects.

Heavy engineering "Pass-1". Photo by VNII "Signal"

Both specific complexes and entire families of robots are being developed. So, two of the three samples of the "Uranus" family have already reached service in the army and a third is expected. The necessary technologies are also being developed. For example, within the framework of the Kungas project, a complex with common control systems was created, including several robots on chassis of different types, from an ultralight wheeled platform to an automated BTR-MDM.

In general, the direction of medium and heavy robotic systems, capable of solving combat and auxiliary tasks at the front line and in dangerous zones, continues to develop and gives new and new results. Some of these samples have already entered service, and the following products are expected in the near future. The positive consequences of such processes are obvious.
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  1. +7
    20 August 2021 06: 27
    Photos are good, I especially liked the first one.
    Looking at Uran-9, there was a feeling of some kind of cumbersomeness and overload of RTK equipment and weapons. Remotely controlled battlefield vehicles seem to me to be more compact, cheaper and therefore more numerous ...
    1. +1
      20 August 2021 20: 29
      The entire superstructure with optics will immediately be demolished on a real battlefield. She's without armor. It's time to grow up boys. These are not toys ...
  2. +5
    20 August 2021 06: 28
    What is now is just the beginning. We need a wider range of robotic systems:
    1. A spotter of artillery fire, he is also the front air-gunner.
    2. NUR carrier from "Buratino" for 4-6 missiles for assault on strong points.
    3. Near missile defense against ATGMs, ground-based missile launchers and "air-ground" missile launchers.
    4. Robot for fighting in tunnels.
    5. Partial robotization, AI in order to reduce crews for MBT and other armored vehicles.
    6. Transportation of ammunition, etc. on the front line (with protection from enemy fire).
    7. Attack copter, equipped with disposable anti-personnel grenade launchers and small missile launchers to support the infantry.
    1. -2
      20 August 2021 10: 22
      Quote: riwas
      We need a wider range of robotic systems

    2. +1
      20 August 2021 13: 38
      laughing Object 782 is robotic and you will be haunted.
  3. -8
    20 August 2021 08: 19
    knowing our realities - they often stand in a hangar on a pedestal, between commissions laughing
    But seriously, a necessary topic, a promising one .. but directly already massively in the troops, is it not too early to supply? at the present time I see the main value as a mine-clearing robot .. probably so it is mainly used .. but then was it worth making it so expensive?
    the rest is still to be finalized and modified, or is it still experimental operation in the troops?
    used in Syria .. the author is about combat use - it would be the most interesting in the article .. but did not say ..
  4. +3
    20 August 2021 10: 35
    The operator in the photo is wearing an exoskeleton. The beauty!
    1. -5
      20 August 2021 10: 59
      Quote: Ramon Merkader
      The operator in the photo is wearing an exoskeleton. The beauty!

      For a long time there have been robotic vacuum cleaners, they could have implemented the program from it to Uranus for mine clearance, and there is no need for an operator with a suitcase on his back. Although progress, though not on the wire.
  5. 0
    15 October 2021 19: 47
    I think the Uran platform has advantage in the referred to the engineering machines under 15 tons. Both manned or unmanned. There is a strong advantage for them there.

    In the referred to combat unmanned platforms, it is logical to see the industry developping by own initiative unmanned solutions for the platforms that are actually under construction. With the time are likely to be required but in the shortm maybe not the most prioritary for the Russian Armed Forces.

    In the other side, the main interest of the Russian Armed Forces in the referred to land based unmanned combat platforms, can be in the modernization by robotization of the material that has bigger technical weakness related to the protection of the crew. This material that tends to be part of the most veteran material, and tends to be out of production. Modernization by robotization would provide a second life to this material. At the same time, modernization by robotization requires years of development until reaching a unmanned performance competitive with the previous manned performance. And it excludes the armament which total exhaustion in the Russian Armed Forces can be completed by the end of the decade (approximately).

    As a consequence, I tend to think the BMD-2 platform, with the 2S9, BTR-D (including anti-tank and air defense variants), and the BMD-2, can be the most interesting for modernization by robotization from the point of the Russian Armed Forces, that can fund it in the following years. And it obviously opens the options for important improvements in the survability of the Russian Airborne Troops in the same timeline. Achieving it Russian would reach strong advantage over other airborne troops. As an example, the 2S9 is by itself technologically one step more advanced than a towed artillery piece hanging from a helicopter. Unmanned, the 2S9 would be two big steps forward.

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