Ten years from now, about 30 percent of the Russian combat power will consist of remotely-controlled and robotic platforms – this is the goal of an ambitious research and development program pursued by the military and approved by the Russian Military Industrial Committee (MIC).
The field of unmanned aerial vehicles and combat robotics has taken off dramatically in the past two years, as the Russians recognized they were way behind the West and China in this field. During this period, Russian military industries have introduced a number of military robots, some of which are already undergoing evaluation at the Military Robotics Laboratory.
The new robotic lab was established in 2014. Although some of its projects are futuristic and theoretical at this stage, others are closer to maturity and those addressing specific functions, such as guarding ‘sterile areas’ around ballistic missile bases or mine clearing and combat engineering support, could become operational soon. Specialized units formed within the strategic missile forces will operate some of these robots. The first robotic guards unit are likely to become operational in 2017-2018.