Russian robotic soldier revealed in Moscow

A prototype track-mounted combat platform tailored to use Russian weapons has been unveiled at an arms show in Moscow. Producers say it beats the similar American bot widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.

The bot, called MRK-27-BT, was produced by the robotics lab of the Moscow Bauman Technical University. It was shown to the public at the Interpolitex-2009 arms exhibition.

MRK-27-BT’s standard armament includes two Shmel rocket launchers, two grenade launchers, a Pecheneg machine gun with a 100 round ammunition belt, and six smoke grenades. It is operated with a couple of joysticks and has a maximum range of 500 meters. All the weapons are standard issue used by human soldiers and can be detached in the field.

The project is similar to SWORDS, a weaponized version of Foster-Miller’s TALON platform. While the platform is extensively used by US military for disposing of explosives and other tasks, the real weapon-wielding bot was never used in actual combat.

Russian developers say their project beats the American counterpart in mobility and speed thanks to a superior track design. Its weapon mount is more flexible and can extend over a foxhole edge. It also has a built-in recoil suppressor. At the same time the Russian robot is larger, standing 1.5 meters tall with its mount raised, while SWORDS is barely knee high.

Designers hope that Russian Defense Ministry will order a trial series of the platform. However, according to RIA Novosti’s sources, top brass want a developed doctrine about the use of combat robots before committing.

Source - Russia Today

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