Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Russia's Combat Robots


The Russian Army has been showcasing state-of-the-art military equipment in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, boasting its Platform-M combat robot which can be used both for patrolling and attacks.

Platform-M is a remote controlled robotic unit on a crawler, armed with grenade launchers and Kalashnikov rifles. It was revealed last summer during a Russian military drills near Kaliningrad.

According to its developer, Progress Scientific Research Technological Institute of Izhevsk, Platform-M can be used “for gathering intelligence, for discovering and eliminating stationary and mobile targets, for firepower support, for patrolling and for guarding important sites. The unit's weapons can be guided, it can carry out supportive tasks and it can destroy targets in automatic or semiautomatic control systems.”

It’s equipped with optical-electronic and radio reconnaissance locators, which enable the Russian robot to perform combat tasks during the night without unmasking itself. Platform-M is a universal platform that can be supplied “with a variety of defensive chassis and weaponry.”
According to some data provided by the Russian military, the Platform-M unit is supplied with "a differentiated defensive chassis and a firing platform and can carry out combative tasks during the night without unmasking instruments."

In 1973 the Soviet Union initiated the first state scientific and technological program devoted to the creation and implementation of industrial robots. Consequently, by 1985 the USSR had 40 percent of the world's industrial robots at its disposal, having surpassed the U.S. These units were guided by network-centric principles and artificial intelligence was embedded in the military sphere.

Still, many had believed that Russia was years behind the envelope when it comes to putting advanced robotic technology on the battlefield. Until today, when a video showcased Russia's latest military equipment in Sevastopol, ranging from the "Bastion" air defense and anti-ship complexes missile system to sniper rifles and special ops naval guns, also showed none other than the Platform-M combat robot mingling among the population of this most important Crimean city. 
Now all that is needed is for some hacker to penetrate the Platform-M firewall and take control of a small army of these units and then we can finally move the Terminator series into the non-fiction section.