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Russia Trying Out Remotely-Controlled Tanks

T-90 tanks converted into armored drones

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Originally appeared at Russia Beyond the Headlines

Russia’s T-90 combat tank is to be fully automated, removing the need for it to be manned by a human crew and enabling it to be operated remotely.

Vyacheslav Khalitov, deputy general director of Uralvagonzavod, who earlier announced the automation of the new Russian Armata tank, believes robotizing the tank, which is already in service, should not pose a problem.                                                  

"The best defense for the crew of a combat machine is its absence on board. And this is not science fiction but the next stage of modernization, which will be possible in the near future," said Khalitov.

Khalitov also remarked that the driverless tanks will be united into one network and a serviceman will operate the robot vehicles at a safe distance of 3-5 kilometers.

"The battlefield will have many machines and if they are to be operated, they should be operated in a certain quantity. One serviceman for one tank is not really effective," said a top manager.

"Now what we need are not tank drivers but rather players from," joked Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who heads the military-industrial complex, commenting on the news in his Twitter feed.

The automation of Russian armored vehicles is already in full swing. At the Innovation Days exhibition, which is taking place in the Moscow suburb of Alabino, the military demonstrated the automated BMP-3 tank using the Udar unpiloted system.

The system includes a transportable robot supported by artillery, a reconnaissance unpiloted attack helicopter and a control center installed in the Ural-4320 truck.

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