Corporation "Uralvagonzavod" (UVZ) is developing a heavy assault robotic complex on the chassis of the T-72B3 tank, told RBC a source in the Defense Ministry and confirmed the interlocutor close to the UVZ. Experimental design work was called "Storm", the interlocutors of RBC specified.
"At this stage, a model with combat equipment was created, which allows demonstrating the elements of the movement," a source in the Defense Ministry said. According to him, the main goal of the development is to reduce the losses of personnel during combat operations in the conditions of urban development.
It is assumed that the complex will have four combat vehicles with various weapons, added the source of RBC in the military department.
What is included in the complex
Combat vehicle No. 1 with a mass of up to 50 tons with a D-414 125 mm cannon (with a truncated barrel of 4000 mm) with a 22-shot loading machine, a Kalashnikov tank machine with a 7.62 mm caliber, a bulldozer blade and an all- anti-tank means of cumulative action.
Combat machine No. 2 with blocks of launchers RPO-2 "Shmel-M" and auxiliary 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun, a blade and a set of all-purpose protection against manual anti-tank means of cumulative action.
Combat vehicle No. 3 with a combat module of two 30-millimeter automatic guns 2A42 (ammunition up to 1000 rounds), 7.62 mm PKTM and RPO-2 "Bumblebee", a blade and a set of all-round protection against manual anti-tank means of cumulative action.
Combat vehicle No. 4 with a 220 mm NURS type МО.1.01.04M (16 thermobaric shots with an effective area of 25,000 sq. M.), 7,62 mm PKTM, a dump and a set of all-round protection against manual anti-tank means of cumulative action.
To manage the robotic tanks, it is proposed to create a highly mobile remote control point also on the basis of the T-72B3 chassis with a set of all-round protection against manual anti-tank means of cumulative action. It is assumed that each robot will be able to control a platoon of combat vehicles within a radius of 3 km. The maximum speed of robots with remote control is 40 km / h.
In addition, it is planned to create a special BTR-T for the security group also based on the T-72B3, which will provide for the deployment of eight people on board.
Among the basic requirements for the assault robotic complex is the presence of ultra-high-altitude defense, which will retain combat capability after hitting 10-15 grenades of a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher (RPG) and mine explosion, a source in the Defense Ministry said. According to him, the complex should have the ability to maneuver in a limited space of urban development, including ensuring unimpeded circular rotation of the tower with weapons in narrow aisles.
To effectively defeat the enemy's shelter within the complex, there must be an artillery system with an ammunition of high fragmentation-explosive action or with an ammunition capable of destroying obstacles in the form of a concrete or brick wall.
"Fighting robots at any time of the day should be able to quickly detect and destroy live power, including on the upper floors of buildings in the 360 degree view, without damaging the urban buildings," the source added.
Another wish of the military is the ability to fire in a programmable mode. This should happen in accordance with the combat mission entered into the on-board computer, based on previously reconnoitred targets, the source explained. "Including the setting of a smokescreen," the source said.
In UVZ and the Defense Ministry refused to comment on information on the development of R & D "Storm".
Despite the fact that the robotic complex is made on the T-72 platform, it uses a number of new solutions, says Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the journal Arsenal of the Fatherland. For example, a cannon of moderate ballistics, which has a caliber of 125 mm - the same as the gun used on the T-72 and Armata, - the trunk is shortened, the military expert notes. "Due to a more moderate ballistic solution, it was possible to increase the angle of the gun's elevation to 20 degrees. This is important when fighting in the city - in order to fire on the upper floors of buildings, "- he explained.
The complex of all-track protection protects against portable hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and similar means, which, as a rule, have armor penetration up to 800 mm equivalent of steel armor, Murakhovsky stressed. "Such protection ensures a high survival rate of machines in combat conditions in a city where the main anti-tank weapon is a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher, rather than long-range anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are used, as a rule, in open areas," he explained.
In the complex of machines a remote control point is used, which also has all-round protection with a high level of stability, Murakhovsky notes. In his opinion, this is important, since the conditions of the battle in the city imply significant limitations in the means and channels of data transmission. The control radius of 3 km is sufficient for performing combat missions, but requires a well-protected control point.
Murakhovsky also recalled that in the war, unintentional deaths of civilians or attacks on their troops are not rare. This is especially important to consider if the tank will be able to fire in a programmable mode. "Complete with these machines will have to take a number of measures to automatically identify their troops," the military expert said.
History of the robot tank
The first works in the field of special robotics in the USSR were carried out by the order of the KGB - it was the research work LIMB-MVO, carried out in 1981-1983, aimed at creating mobile robotic complexes for conducting antiterrorist operations. Soon for the Research Institute "Geodesy" was created experimental robotic complex MRK-20 to work with ammunition in range conditions, was told in the January issue of the magazine "Arsenal of the Fatherland" for 2017.
The following serious developments were initiated after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. With the help of domestic special robots "STR-1" and "Mobot CHVV-2", a full technological cycle of cleaning from the roofs of emergency and adjacent radioactive waste units was carried out.
The work on the robotization of equipment for the Armed Forces up to the beginning of the 1990s in terms of the level of scientific, technical and scientific and technological developments practically did not lag behind the countries of Europe, the USA and Japan, "Arsenal of the Fatherland" notes. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union for a whole decade, the development of combat and special robots were practically not engaged.
Now the newest examples of robotic equipment are the multifunctional complex "Uran-9" and the mine-clearing complex "Uran-6". For the first time they were demonstrated at the Victory Parade in 2018. Analogues of such complexes are in the US and Israel, but there are no full-fledged robotic tanks in any country in the world.
In 2015, the developers of the T-14 on the chassis of "Armata" from the UVZ spoke of the intention to create an unmanned version of the combat vehicle. Oleg "Salyukov" mentioned the "unlimited possibilities" of robotization of the platform and the commander-in-chief of the ground forces. The project was named "Tachanka-B".
In February 2018, during a visit to the UVZ, then Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told reporters that "after a while" the public "will see the results of the developments" on the unmanned "Armata".
A few months later, UVZ was visited by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, said a source in the military department of RBC. According to him, the minister was demonstrated a prototype of a robotic complex on the platform "Armata".
But at the end of July, Yuri Borisov, already in the status of deputy prime minister, said that the Russian Armed Forces did not seek to bulk purchase Armata tanks because of their high cost. "Well, why flood the Armed Forces with all the armed forces, the T-72 is in great demand on the market, everything is taken from it, compared to the Abrams, Leclercs and Leopards, for their price, efficiency and quality, surpasses ", - said Borisov.
According to the source of RBC in the Ministry of Defense, in 2016 UVZ planned to sell the first batch of Armata tanks (about 100 cars) for 450 million rubles. per unit, but the military department managed to reduce the price to 320 million. At the same time, the cost of one T-72B3 tank in 2016, according to UVZ, was about 79 million rubles.
T-72 - the most massive main battle tank of the second generation. It was adopted in the USSR in 1973. The new State Arms Program provides for the further delivery of upgraded T-72 and T-80 tanks to the troops, Andrei Arkadyev, editor-in-chief of the magazine Export of Arms, Andrei Frolov, told RBC. According to him, this is due to the need to man the armored vehicles of newly deployed formations and units in full in a short time. "Tanks appeared in the airborne forces, where three tank battalions and several tank companies were formed. Therefore, the state defense order to supply the upgraded samples annually is at least 200 units of such equipment, "the military expert explained.