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This Is the Robot Tank Russia Used in Syria

Sebastien Roblin

Technology, Middle East

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/AGeDX

(But it didn't fight well.)

Key point: Moscow's new tank was supposed to be a leap forward, but it has a lot of problems.

In May 2018, the Russian military revealed it had combat-tested its Uran-9 robot tank in Syria. The diminutive remote-control tank is noted for its formidable gun and missile armament.

However, just a month later Defense Blog reported that Senior Research Officer Andrei Anisimov told a conference at the Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St. Petersburg that the Uran-9’s performance in Syria revealed that “modern Russian combat Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) are not able to perform the assigned tasks in the classical types of combat operations.” He concluded it would be ten to fifteen more years before UGVs were ready for such complex tasks.

This stands in contrast to a source which told Jane’s that the system had “…demonstrated high performance in an operational environment.”

Robotic armored vehicles are in development across the world, with the U.S. Army planning for its Bradley fighting vehicle replacement to be “optionally-manned.” However, Russia arguably has more aggressively moved towards combat-deploying UGVs. In 2015 Russia’s Military Industry Committee announced its objective of deploying 30 percent of Russia’s kinetic weapons on remote-control platforms by 2025. Current projects include the MARS six-seat infantry carrier, the robotic BMP-3 Vihr (“Hurricane”) fighting vehicle, robotized T-72 tanks, and tiny Nerekhta UGVs that can evacuate wounded soldiers, fire a machine gun or kamikaze charge enemy positions.

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