“There are some issues with small arms that should be addressed in the near future, and after that the gear will be adopted by the army,” Rogozin said.
Various modifications of a new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle as well as other small arms developed as part of Russia’s “future soldier” gear will pass state acceptance trials in the fall of 2013, a spokesperson for the Kalashnikov corporation said.
Yelena Filatova told reporters that a number of prospective small arms models for the Ratnik gear were shown to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during the Russian Defense Ministry’s Innovation Day arms exhibition on August 20 in Moscow.
“After examining the weaponry, the minister confirmed that all small arms developed under the Ratnik project will undergo state acceptance trials in the fall to bring clarity to the fate of the ‘future soldier’ gear,” Filatova said.
New combat outfits for the armies of the world are not just updated outfits with elements of protection. These are real navigation systems that allow improving the interaction of the soldiers inside the unit thanks to communication systems and mapping. They also provide direct communication between the field and a tactical and even operational (brigade, division) level of command.
That is, the lag in the development of individual equipment for soldiers in the long term means a lag in management and coordination of army units and the level of interaction between the branches of the military on the battlefield.
In turn, the implementation of this task requires not only the use of modern secure communication systems, but also a global geographical positioning system like GLONASS. The contemporary “queen of fields” needs satellite support for conducting effective combat actions.
The tests of “Ratnick”, a modernized version of the previously developed “Barmitsa” system began at the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade in the Moscow region. The tests in the airborne units have been conducted since early fall of 2012, and took place under the framework of “Kavkaz-2012” training. The modular kit has been praised by the army. Troopers asked to modify the mountable components that did not deal well with overloads during landing.
Moreover Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute, one of Russia’s largest nuclear physics think-tanks, expects to receive more than $5m in government funding for the development of the “soldier of the future” technology complex by 2020.
The Russian Government and its Advanced Research Fund (ARF) are said to have approved a timeline for the project for the next three years.
According to ARF, the prospective technology system is expected to enable a real “soldier of the future” to engage in combat operations from a position as far away from the firing line as possible, running an array of combat robots.
The Advanced Research Fund was set up last fall, with Russian vice premier Dmitry Rogozin responsible for military-related industry being the primary driver of the Fund program. ARF has been meant as the Russian analog of the U.S.’ DARPA, the Pentagon-controlled Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. ARF’s main goal is assistance in developing high-risk R&D projects for military purposes.
Many other nations have similar future soldier equipment programs in progress, including the U.S. Land Warrior, Germany’s IdZ, Britain’s FIST, Spain’s COMFUT, Sweden’s IMESS and France’s FELIN.
Rogozin stressed that the Russian gear would be superior in many ways to comparable NATO equipment.