The Russian military has been steadily advancing the technology and use of unmanned systems in military operations in domestic and international engagements, with the backing of the government and domestic industries.

Over the past few years the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) has been actively developing a wide range of unmanned platforms. Notable presence of such robotic machines with the Russian armed forces have already been presented in the Syrian conflict.

The “Uran-6” de-mining robot, has been assisting Russian sappers in Syria, helping clear recaptured areas from mines and other ‘left behind’ unexploded ordnance in the battlefield. Designed to operate in extreme environment, this UGV has proven to be successful along with an extensive array’s of other new military systems, which have also been cleared for export.

The larger armored “Uran-9” version was designed for combat operations and is armed with a 30 mm cannon, 7.62mm machine gun and anti-tank rockets. Russian military experts think this robotic machine can also be used in Syria in support of Russian ground forces in the near future.

There has already been some speculation, whether Moscow-allied Syrian forces actually used Russian UGV’s in recent operations, such as during the liberation of Palmyra. 

Another innovated technological prospect is the “Platforma M”, designed for gathering intelligence and other reconnaissance roles, and is already being integrated into Russian armed forces. The ‘Platforma M’ is armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun and 4 grenade launchers, and it s built to operate in extreme environments, from Arctic to desert conditions. This UGV is already in service with the Russian Pacific Fleet.

In 2013, the Russian MOD reviewed “Argo” unmanned ground vehicle. This wheeled system is designed for patrol and intelligence missions, armed with several rockets and a 7.62 mm machine gun to be used for conducting amphibious operations and logistics support.

Russian designers also developed the “Prohod 1”, intended to create ‘safe corridors’ for soldiers and equipment to break through enemy lines, without military losses or casualties. In 2015, Russia unveiled another heavy armored UGV, named “Udar”, which carries a multi-copter drone for greater intelligence, manufactured for combat, transportation/evacuation and engineering support.

National Interest / AA Magnum News 2017.

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