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Russian defense firm to develop civilian version of Ratnik soldier gear

Ratnik is a system of advanced protective and communication equipment, weapons and ammunition

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Russia’s TsNiiTochMash defense contractor (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) is planning to develop the civilian version of the Ratnik soldier combat gear with an integrated exoskeleton that will help carry heavy cargoes, the company's CEO Albert Bakov told Izvestia daily.

"We are also developing the Ratnik’s civilian version that will be supplied to the foreign and domestic markets. We will also ‘try on’ the exoskeleton for its use for non-military goals," the chief executive said.

The civilian outfit with the exoskeleton will be useful during underground construction works where workers have to carry heavy cargoes and instruments, he noted.

The new outfit can be used "in the subway construction, mining workings and the underground extraction of coal and mineral resources," the chief executive said.

TsNIITochMash also continues work on the third-generation Ratnik soldier combat outfit, he said.

"We have started work on creating the third-generation combat outfit. The R&D results have been submitted to the customer. Now the institute is preparing to carry out experimental design work for creating this outfit," Bakov said.

The Ratnik-3 will be distinguished by its reduced weight, the larger area and the higher degree of protection, and also by integrated robotized systems and drones. It will be more comfortable and ergonomic for soldiers through air conditioning and the thermal regulation of specific elements of the combat outfit.

The Ratnik is a system of advanced protective and communication equipment, weapons and ammunition. It comprises around 40 protective and life support elements and allows a soldier to get continuously updated information about the situation in the combat area. In addition, the Ratnik includes a self-contained heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask and a medical kit.

The second-generation Ratnik combat gear has been arriving for Russia’s ground forces, the Airborne Force and marines since 2016.

An advanced Ratnik-3 combat gear with an integral exoskeleton and a helmet visor-mounted target designation system is currently being developed for Russia’s Armed Forces.