An unmanned version of the T-14 tank on the Armata tracked platform has successfully passed test trials, said Vladimir Artyakov, First Deputy General Director of Rostec. He called the use of technologies with a high level of automation and elements of artificial intelligence in modern military equipment “a requirement of the time.” Experts call the creation of fully robotic main battle tanks a real breakthrough for the Russian defense industry. According to analysts, the presence of such vehicles increases the chances of repelling any military threat.
An unmanned version of the newest Russian T-14 Armata tank has successfully passed test trials. This was announced by the first deputy general director of “Rostec” Vladimir Artyakov in an interview with the newspaper “Krasnaya Zvezda” in response to a question about the development of the capabilities of the Russian defense industry in the field of artificial intelligence and robotization.
“And we are actively developing such technologies. For example, the well-known Armata tank was originally designed as a crew-driven vehicle. But the level of modern technologies today makes it possible to turn it into a drone – we carried out the relevant tests, and they turned out to be successful, ”said Artyakov.
According to the first deputy general director of Rostec, such technologies, “where the machine does practically everything by itself, and the person only has to confirm its choice,” are being introduced into all modern models of armor and aviation equipment, air defense systems, and so on.
“Artificial intelligence is not a tribute to fashion, but a requirement of the times. With each generation, technology is getting smarter. In modern weapons systems, the role of man is steadily declining. The role of automated systems and technologies such as artificial intelligence is growing. Thus, the human factor is leveled, the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of hitting targets increase, ”stressed Vladimir Artyakov.
“One of the most promising areas”
The Russian T-14 tank based on the Armata heavy tracked platform was developed by the Uralvagonzavod concern. Development began in 2010, and for the first time the tank was shown to the public at the Victory Parade on May 9, 2015.
The creators of the vehicle have repeatedly noted that the T-14 is not only the world’s only tank of the third post-war generation, it also has a number of unique technical solutions, the main of which is a completely uninhabited tank turret with remote digital control. The commander and the crew are located in an isolated armored capsule, from where the vehicle and the turret with the main weapon of the tank are controlled – the 125 mm 2A82 smoothbore cannon.
This unique technical solution allows you to save the lives of the crew, even in the event of a direct hit into the turret and the fire of ammunition. At the same time, the armor of the tank withstands a frontal hit of modern anti-tank missiles and shells.
The first information about the start of work on the creation of an unmanned combat tank based on the Armata platform appeared in 2017. Then the deputy general director of “Uralvagonzavod” Vyacheslav Khalitov said that the issue of robotization of the platform was being worked out, but theoretical and experimental work had to be completed first.
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“Today, technologies have advanced so much, and developments in the field of robotics are moving forward at such a pace that one should seriously think about robots as a new type of weapon,” Khalitov stressed.
In 2018, RIA Novosti, citing a report from the Third Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense, reported that an unmanned tank being developed on the basis of the latest T-14 Armata combat platform was named Tachanka B.
“Tachanka B” is the development of a preliminary design of a heavy-class unmanned robotic strike platform based on the T-14 product for a family of armored vehicles of a new generation, “the report says.
Already in August 2020, Uralvagonzavod reported that the T-14 Armata tank was being tested in unmanned mode. The concern noted that “the appearance of heavy unmanned combat vehicles is a matter of the near future.”
“Within the framework of R&D commissioned by the Ministry of Defense (research and development work. – RT) the concern’s specialists are carrying out a set of works to create robotic combat vehicles of the front line. During the work in unmanned mode, the T-14 “Armata” tank was also tested. This is one of the most promising areas for the development of armored vehicles, which will change the balance of power on the battlefield, ”said the concern.
The possibility of an unmanned main tank appearing in Russia was also noticed in the West. So, in August last year, the American military-analytical publication The National Interest released material under the headline “Is Russia developing a T-14 Armata unmanned tank?”
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It discussed the characteristics of the machine, as well as possible technical solutions that will have to be applied to turn the T-14 into a robot.
“One of the problems with remotely controlled vehicles is that it is imperative that those who operate them remotely have ‘situational awareness.’ But in the case of the T-14, this point seems to have been taken into account. Wide-angle cameras are located along the perimeter of the outer skin of the tank. They provide 360-degree all-round visibility and allow the crew to be in control of the situation. The commander’s sight located at the top of the tower also provides full coverage, while the gunner’s sight is equipped with a direct view periscope and a laser designator, “the authors of the publication noted.
According to The National Interest, “if the unmanned version is indeed in the works, then perhaps this is an attempt to interest foreign buyers.”
Military expert Yuri Knutov, for his part, believes that the future Russian fully robotic tank is intended both for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces and interested foreign customers.
“At the first stage of development, elements of remote control will be introduced, after which a computer with artificial intelligence will be installed, capable of solving combat missions under the control of an operator. In the future, the Ministry of Defense may decide to create an export model – many countries will be interested in buying it, for example, India, Algeria, Egypt, ”Knutov argues.
In turn, a military expert, retired colonel Viktor Litovkin, in a conversation with RT, noted that now the Russian army is provided with tanks, armored infantry vehicles and other equipment, so there is no urgent need to develop fully robotic tanks and there is enough time to test such technologies.
“Considering that today there is no threat of a major war, and there are only certain hotbeds of tension, it makes no sense to spend huge funds on the launch of serial production of the T-14 tank based on the“ Armata ”urgently,” the expert explained.
At the same time, the development of such a promising technology is extremely important, Litovkin is sure.
“It allows you to save human lives in various combat conditions, as well as to more effectively contain and defeat the enemy. Russia seeks to update its armed forces and have the necessary equipment to contain a potential aggressor. Within the framework of this concept, large-scale research and testing of unmanned combat vehicles is being carried out, ”the analyst said.
Yuri Knutov emphasizes that the Russian defense industry has everything it needs to successfully create an unmanned main battle tank.
“From the point of view of equipping the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the creation of such machines will be a breakthrough that will allow Russia to react faster and more efficiently on the battlefield, because these machines are included in a single networked command and control system. The more robots appear, the more chances there will be to repel any military threat, ”concluded Knutov.
Source: RT на русском by russian.rt.com.
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