Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

How Deadly Is the New Russian Uran-9 Drone Tank?

Unlike comparable robotic combat vehicles designed by the United States, these are actually meant to be used

MORE: Military

It's extremely dangerous -- but not for the reasons you might think.

The 30mm cannon, 7.62mm machine gun and those impressive Ataka ATGMs are not what will make this possibly the most deadly UGV [Unmanned Ground Vehicle] in the world.

Armed UGVs have been around for decades. The US has produced generations of them, from the early Fire Ant to SWORDS to Gladiator to MAARS and more recent developments like RAMP and the MDARS patrol robot. The difference is that the US military have always shied away from using them in combat - SWORDS was actually in-theatre in Iraq when it got pulled without firing a shot (see The Inside Story of the SWORDS Armed Robot "Pullout" in Iraq: Update ) .

The Americans still have a lot of concerns over the obvious issues of armed UGVs, specifically target discrimination and friendly fire.  The Russians have no such compunction and are designing remote-control machines like the Uran-9 but UGVs which are capable of partial or total autononous operation.

The Uran-9 is deadly because it will be used.

“We have to conduct battles without any contact, so that our boys do not die, and for that it is necessary to use war robots,” deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin stated in 2013 when he announced plans for a new military robot laboratory in Kovrov, and a new centre of military robotics at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering.

Along with defense minister Sergei Shoygu, Rogozin has driven towards automated systems which will allow Russia to carry out combat operations -- think Afghanistan, Chechnya, Ukraine - without the loss of Russian soldiers which is so politically unpalatable.

And because it's being built for the export market, so Russia's allies like Syria can benefit from the new technology 
As I describe in this article Russia has a vast range of different armed robots: Check Out Russia's Fighting Robots from portable models with machine-guns to small tanks. Nor are they confined to the ground - Will Russia Make Drones That Carry Flamethrowers? (Yup, they will.)

The hardware may look sexy, but it's not worrying. Anyone can stick a rocket launcher on a robot and look cool.  The software is the hard part, and Russia has already successfully field-tested Unicum, nicknamed "the Russian Skynet" which allows multiple robots to work together identifying and destroying targets with no human input -- UIMC successfully completes the testing of robot control software.

This is a new type of threat. And a lot of robots like it will be on the international arms market soon.



Source: Quora
Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!
MORE: Military

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.