MOSCOW, August 8. /TASS/. Foreign participants in the engineering competitions of the International Army Games held at a practice range near Tyumen in West Siberia have tested Russia’s latest Ratnik-2 combat outfits for the first time, the press office of the Central Military District reported on Thursday.
"All the competitors were provided with the Ratnik-2 combat gear sets in quantities sufficient for accomplishing assignments. Overall, about 70 Ratnik sets were handed out. None of the teams from the participating states has ever used such gear before. They have quite different combat outfits in operation," the press office quoted Missile and Artillery Armament Chief of the Tyumen Higher Military Engineering Command School, Captain Sergei Tikhonenko as saying.
The Ratnik combat gear had to be adjusted to the size of the Vietnamese personnel as these outfits turned out to be large for them.
"The Vietnamese representatives were a little upset that smaller-size outfits were unavailable. They are not tall and that is why our sizes were a little bit large for them. We had to work more carefully to adjust these outfits for the Vietnamese representatives and no complaints or criticism was heard from them. Actually, all were satisfied and the combat gear suited everyone. There were no complaints that the combat outfits were unsuitable or somehow obstructed the personnel along their route," the Russian officer commented.
The Engineering Formula and Safe Route competitions at the Andreyevsky practice range near Tyumen involve troops from nine countries: Belarus, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. The finals of the competitions will take place on August 10-11.
The fifth International Army Games are running in four stages on August 3-17 at 25 military ranges of ten countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. The combat training events for servicemen from Russia and other foreign states have been organized by Russia’s Defense Ministry. During the Army Games, soldiers and officers of different armed branches demonstrate their skills.
The Ratnik is a system of advanced protective and communications equipment, weapons and ammunition. It comprises around 40 protective and life support elements and allows a soldier to continuously get updated on 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 provided to 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.