MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The serial production of combat robots for the Russian Armed Forces may start already this year, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.
The Russian defense minister made this statement at the forum titled: "Russia - the Country of Possibilities."
When asked by a forum participant about whether it was possible that the role of the soldier in the army would change in the near future and combat operations would be conducted by remote-controlled vehicles, while the role of humans would boil down to performing the functions of an operator and a coordinator, the defense minister answered: "Why in the near future? This is being implemented today and is being implemented quite energetically."
As the Russian defense minister pointed out, there were just 160 unmanned aerial vehicles in the Russian army several years ago, whereas today the troops operated almost 1,800 drones.
"We have started creating combat robots and their state and field trials are nearing completion. I hope that already this year we will start serial production," the defense minister said.
Russia has also completed work on developing robotic vehicles for area mine clearance, Shoigu said.
"Today such robots are already serial-produced. We do not stop the work for any single day, for any single hour," the Russian defense minister stressed.