Russian tank robots will be deployed ‘soon’ amid war fears with Ukraine

Russia: Uran-9 multipurpose tank in combat action

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The unmanned Uran-9 robotic tanks can be remotely controlled by specially trained soldiers that will form military units. This week, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, inspected the tanks at the 766th Production and Technological Enterprise in Nakhabino near Moscow.

Mr Shoigu said: “We expect to continue expanding the range of robots, which, of course, are already in demand in the military today.

“These will be heavy robots (for mine clearance) and everything related to the further development of scouts, radiation and chemical reconnaissance robots.

“This applies to surface and underwater robots.”

The Defence ministry added in a statement that the first unit with “strike robots” will be set up within the Russian Army to operate five Uran-9 robotic systems or 20 combat vehicles.

Each unmanned Uran-9 tank is armed with a 30mm automatic gun turret, anti-tank missiles and flamethrowers.

It is the latest assault type model of the Uran series, with the Uran-6 possessing mine-sweeping capabilities and Uran-14s being used for firefighting.

The robot tanks have been used before during the Syrian war but they were reportedly plagued by issues.

“Shortcomings were identified during the tests in Syria,” said Vladimir Dmitriev, General Director of Kalashnikov Concern, which designed the robot tanks.

“In particular, the issues of control, reduced mobility, and unsatisfactory military intelligence and surveillance functions had been considered by engineers and were rectified.”

Russia also announced in a statement that an experimental unit had been set up in an MoD scientific research centre to “subsequently train personnel that will operate Uran-9 strike robotic vehicles in operational military units.”

The Uran-9 also serves the function of protecting infantry from enemy fire and is capable of fighting back against infantry, armoured vehicles and even other tank units.

Back in December, Russia tested AI powered robots that were designed to dodge incoming bullets.

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RIA Novosti, Russia’s state-owned news agency, reported over a year ago that the Russian armed forces would receive multifunctional combat robots by 2025.

It is unclear whether the new Uran-9 robot tanks will be deployed on Ukraine’s borders.

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