Today, the Russian military showcased its killer robot, codenamed Platform-M, in Sevastopol, Ukraine according to RT. In the video, the remotely controlled Platform-M combat robot is armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and four grenade launchers.
RBTH reported that an unknown number of robots for the first time participated in a military exercise of the Baltic Fleet alongside Russian ground forces in June 2014 near Kaliningrad where the “the military robots were assigned to eliminate provisional illegal armed formations in urban conditions and striking stationary and mobile targets,” according to the press office of Russia’s Western military district.
The Platform-M combat robot is equipped with “a differentiated defensive chassis and a firing platform and can carry out combative tasks during the night without unmasking instruments,” the Russian military told RBTH.
The robot’s targeting mechanism works automatically without human assistance, according to media reports. The prime task of the Platform-M will be to carry out reconnaissance and patrol missions and guard military sites.
The robot’s developers at the Progress Scientific Research Technological Institute of Izhevsk describe the Platform-M in the following way:
Platform-M is a universal combat platform. It is used for gathering intelligence, for discovering and eliminating stationary and mobile targets, for firepower support, for patrolling and for guarding important sites. The unit’s weapons can be guided, it can carry out supportive tasks and it can destroy targets in automatic or semiautomatic control systems; it is supplied with optical-electronic and radio reconnaissance locators.
Russia is also working on a more powerful and heavier robot combat platform, the URP-01G, which, according to a press release, can reach speeds up to 25 mph (40 kmh) and will be capable of operating 10 miles (16 km) from its control point.
“At present, the firm Sistemprom [the platform developer] is developing a unique automated combat module with large-caliber machine-guns and the grenade launcher compartment and is designing the strike and reconnaissance modules with the use of aircraft,” a Russian defense official told TASS.
Tasks for the combat robots will include radiation and chemical reconnaissance, patrol and mine clearing missions, and targeted strikes. The robots will be deployed “where there is danger to a person’s life,” a press release states.
Russia has allocated substantial resources in its 2016-2025 state armament program toward the development of robotic systems. By 2025, 30 percent of all military technology in the Russian Armed Forces is expected to consist of robotic hardware, according to Russia’s defense ministry. As I reported a while back, among other things, Moscow is also planning to introduce mind-controlled dual-use exoskeletons within the next five years (see: “Will Russia Field Robo-Soldiers in 5 Years?”). However, the general consensus is that Russia is about 20 years behind the United States and other Western countries in the development of robotic combat systems.