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Showing posts from May, 2020

Russian Robots: From combat to engineering

For the past ten years the Russian army has been boasting about it’s upcoming combat robots, or  unmanned ground vehicles, UGV:s, as the parlance goes in the west. The focus has been on the swanky looking combat robots bristling with weapon stations and missiles.The idea of a remotely operated tank for attack operations isn’t exactly new in the Russian army. The Soviet Red Army studied and tested radio controlled teletanks already in the 1930’s. These were simple remotely operated versions of the existing T-18, T-26, T-38, BT-5 and BT-7 tanks. These early UGVs couldn’t share any sensor data with their controllers, who were traveling in the accompanying regular tanks. This resulted in aiming problems, that were solved by arming the teletanks mainly with flamethrowers, machine guns and demolition charges that didn’t rely on precision aiming. 
The teletanks saw their combat debut during the Winter War in 1939-40, but the success of the units were minimal, with many tanks bogging down and …