Russia begins mass production of autonomous war robots

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 23 May 2021 5:47 AM

Russia says its military will soon be equipped with autonomous war robots capable of acting independently on the battlefield, as the country has launched mass production of the weapons.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Saturday that high-tech military vehicles, which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to operate, are now in production for the Russian military.

“These are not just some experimental prototypes but robots that can really be shown in sci-fi movies since they can fight on their own,” Shoigu said. “A major effort” has been made to develop “the weapons of the future,” he added.

Russia has already unveiled a variety of autonomous and semi-autonomous machines, including the Uran-9, which is a multipurpose robotic weapons system.

The weapon looks like a small tank equipped with a 30mm gun, several flamethrowers, and four guided anti-tank missiles.

Designed for reconnaissance and fire support, it can assist soldiers on a battlefield to minimize potential casualties.

Russian engineers are currently working on autonomous systems based on the T-72 and T-14 Armata tanks capable of carrying heavy weapons.

Russia is also about to equip its maritime arsenal with an underwater drone, known as Poseidon.

The Poseidon appears to be a huge robotic nuclear-capable mini-submarine with a miniature nuclear reactor that is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It is programmed to slowly approach enemy territory deep underwater at low speed.

If detected, it can greatly boost its speed and outrun its pursuers before going back into stealth mode.

The Russian military made public its first tests of the underwater drone in 2019.

The US said earlier that it feared the giant nuclear-tipped Poseidon could be able to unleash a “radioactive tsunami” on American shores.

With almost an unlimited range, the Poseidon would be able to speed toward targets on America’s coastline, exploding a 2-megaton warhead next to them.

The defense minister said that Russia also plans to develop laser weaponry, something he said appeared to be “fiction some 20 years ago.” But “now, this is reality,” for Russia, Shoigu noted.

The Russian army already does have a laser weapon in its arsenal, according to Shoigu, who said it still has great potential for further improvement.

President Vladimir Putin unveiled the weapon, a highly secret laser cannon known as Peresvet, back in 2018.

The laser weapon is said to be capable of shooting down both enemy aircraft and incoming missiles.

Earlier this month, Putin warned that crossing “red lines” in Russia’s security would bring a powerful “asymmetric” response.

The president reminded the West of his country’s modernized nuclear arsenal.

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John Pike