The adoption of the Ratnik gear into service has been repeatedly delayed due to uncertainty over the choice of small arms component, which is likely to include the new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle. The equipment is currently in the final stages of field testing by Russian paratroopers.
Developed as part of the soldier military equipment (BES) programme, Ratnik nicknamed “future soldier uniforms”comprises about 50 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, and even knee and elbow pads.
Emphasis has been laid on the effective protection of a soldier on the battlefield, says the editor of the “Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer”, or”Military-Industrial”, newspaper, member of the Public Council of the Russian Government’s Military-Industrial Commission, Mikhail Khodarenok. He added that “Ratnik” is better in every way than its predecessor, the battle suit “Barmitsa”, and obviously superior to its French analogue FELIN, which was originally to be considered as the main prototype. “Ratnik” is by far better in protecting servicemen from enemy small arms, as well as artillery shell and mine fragments.
The multilayer hat can resist the hit of a bullet, fired from a distance of 5 meters to 10 meters. The overalls of the “Alutex” reinforced-fiber composite effectively protects against shell and grenade splinters, while the body armor vest, reinforced by ceramic and hybrid inserts, is effective against small arms, including armor-piercing weapons.
Available in summer and winter variants, the lightweight gear can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts, and is claimed to provide protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons.
The system is expected to feature at least ten modules for adaptability to varied combat environments, the news agency has earlier reported citing Russian Military-Industrial Commission first deputy chair, Yury Borisov.
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.
The Ratnik gear has been successfully tested by the Russian military.
According to Russian military sources, the “Ratnik” is better in every way than its predecessor, the battle suit “Barmitsa”, and obviously superior to its French analogue FELIN, which was originally to be considered as the main prototype.
“Ratnik” weighs 20 kilograms, or 6 kilos less than its French analogue FELIN, and is fit for action in all conditions any time of the day.