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Russian infantry gear to have friend-or-foe sensors visible only to friendly troops

June 16, 2015, 16:39 UTC+3 KUBINKA
Up to 50,000 Ratnik infantry gear sets are expected to be delivered within a year from now, with an eventual increase in deliveries to 70,000 a year
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 16. /TASS/. Russia's "soldier of the future" will be wearing individual friend-or-foe sensors constituting an integral part of the high-tech Ratnik combat gear, the general director of the Central Research Institute of Precision Machinebuilding, which developed the system, said on Tuesday.

"There is an ordinary electronic friend-or-foe system: you direct certain instruments at it and receive a response. And there is a system using light-reflecting elements and colored signs that are visible only to devices operating within a certain part of the spectrum," Dmitry Semizorov told TASS on the sidelines of the Army-2015 forum in the Moscow region. "They will be seen only through our devices."

It is assumed that the soldiers’ friend-or-foe system will be enabled through attaching some kind of sensor on each soldier’s clothing. A soldier can then distinguish between enemy and friendly forces by looking at the screen of a special device similar in appearance to a mobile phone.

Semizorov noted that R&D work was well underway and "as soon as there are stable results," the system would be built into the Ratnik gear set.

Ratnik-2 to have stronger firepower, less weight 

Russia’s Ratnik-2 new ‘soldier of the future’ gear will have stronger firepower and less weight, Semizorov said on Tuesday.

‘The research work on Ratnik-2 has already been assigned by the Defense Ministry [ the Central Research Institute of Precision Machinebuilding]. This work is going on. Now co-manufacturers on this project for all aspects of this combat gear will be determined. This is research work and there will be no pilot samples in it. This is a research project to look for new materials and new technical solutions," Semizorov said at the Army-2015 international military and technical forum outside Moscow.

When asked about the outlook of the Ratnik-2 infantry combat gear, the TsNIITochMash head said "the principal direction in developing the combat gear is towards reducing its weight while raising the efficiency of its use."

This effect will be achieved through the use of new materials and the higher efficiency of the combat gear’s weaponry system, the TsNIITochMash head said. He didn’t rule out that the outfit would be supplied with new types of weapons.

The possibility for the Ratnik infantry outfit to use the elements of the exoskeleton and even the neuro-interface to read the soldier’s thoughts will "be widely studied and explored after the customer clearly formulates the task," Semizorov said.

Today, there is no technical assignment from the Defense Ministry for the exoskeleton development, he added.

The Russian army has already started receiving domestically-designed "future soldier" gear. Up to 50,000 Ratnik sets are expected to be delivered within a year from now, with an eventual increase in deliveries to 70,000 a year.

The new combat gear comprises about 40 components, including individual weapons, aiming and protection systems, as well as communication, navigation, and target acquisition and indication equipment.

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