The vision for the future soldier is to be combat effective and also highly mobile, adaptive, networked, sustainable with total battle space situation awareness and information assurance. Therefore, he is equipped with night- vision goggles, radios, smartphones, GPS, infrared sights, a laptop as well as batteries to power them.
Some of the missions the soldiers perform can take weeks, away from in difficult terrain like deserts and mountains which requires maintaining an incredibly high level of physical fitness. Around the world, armies are recognizing the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of Soldiers physically, perceptually, and cognitively.
Ratnik (Russian: Ратник; Warrior) is a Russian future infantry combat system. It is designed to improve the connectivity and combat effectiveness of combat personnel in the Russian Armed Forces. Improvements include modernised body armour, a helmet with a special eye monitor (thermal, night vision monocular, flashlight), communication systems, and special headphones. It includes 10 subsystems and 59 individual items. As of October 2016, it has already seen in combat use.
The first generation of Ratnik system prototypes was reportedly distributed to select units in 2013 and was spotted by The New York Times being worn by unmarked Russian units in Crimea shortly after Moscow annexed the former Ukrainian territory in 2014.
All the equipment of Ratnik (firearms, body armour, optic, communication and navigation devices, medical, and power supply systems, as well as uniform items such as knee and elbow pads) were tested and accepted into service in the Russian Armed Forces on 23 October 2014. About 200,000 Ratnik sets have been delivered as of September 2017, and it is expected that 100% of the Russian Armed Forces will be equipped with Ratnik gear by 2020.
For the Russian Navy and Engineering Troops, the bulletproof vest is combined with a life vest, so that soldiers and sailors who are thrown into the water won’t drown. All Naval Infantry units were equipped with Ratnik gear as of November 2016.
“Ratnik” protects almost 90% of soldier’s body. Basic “Ratnik” (for engineers and medics) weighs 15 kg ( without thigh and shoulder guards) while full “Ratnik” equipment with the special thigh and shoulder bulletproof shields weighs 19-20 kilograms.
Russia is working on third generation Ratnik gear now. Third generation equipment is looking to include combat exoskeletons. “We are completing the scientific research on creating the future layout of the Ratnik-3 combat gear. The implementation of the project will allow increasing the performance of a soldier by 1.5 times in completing various tasks,” Salyukov told Russia Defense Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in comments translated by Tass.
Russia’s Ratnik-2 infantry combat gear
Ratnik is a Russian infantry combat system designed to improve the connectivity and combat effectiveness of the Russian army. The system has protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons, command and information systems, communications, sensors, navigation systems, life support systems, protective eye-wear, sound-protection, thermal wear and water filtration. Other Improvements include modernized body armor and helmet with special monitor (eye monitor, thermal, night vision monocular, flashlight).
The “Strelets” (“Musketeer”) system provides voice and video communication. The system also includes a GLONASS navigation module so that a squad leader can see the location of each soldier on his small, book-sized, computer. With this computer, he also can give orders to his squad, and send videos and photos to headquarters. As well as this, each soldier has their own smaller telephone-sized tactical computer.
Ratnik protects almost 90% of a soldier’s body. The main body armour (Standard vest) is GOST R 50744-95 Level V rated, weighs 7.5 kg (with the Assault variant weighing up to 15 kg).
The main body armour fully protects from 7.62×39mm rounds from assault rifles, and 7.62×54mmR from sniper rifles, including the increased penetration of hardened rounds, and can survive hits from repeated shots in these calibres conducted at close range.
The weight of the full Ratnik infantry system with the special thigh and shoulder bulletproof shields is 19–20 kg. Basic Ratnik gear (for engineers and medics) weighs 15 kg (without thigh and shoulder guards). Russian armed forces may soon be fitted with exoskeleton suits every inch of which is bulletproof. The gear consists of heavy body armor and a futuristic helmet that entirely covers the head.
Russia’s ‘Soldier of the Future’ Gear Gets Voice Control System Upgrade
The Russian company Titan Information Service has developed an advanced voice command system for Russia’s Ratnik infantry combat gear; the purpose of the system, due to be put into operation by 2020, is to help servicemen survive during a possible military conflict, Titan’s head Konstantin Lamin said in an interview with Sputnik. The voice control system frees a soldier’s hands and eyes during fighting, and he can simultaneously move, shoot, and interact with the computer. Also, he can communicate with the command, send messages and listen to the advice of an advanced automated system as well as receive ciphered voice messages,” he said.
It is Similar to Apple’s Siri (Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) service, that translate voice into text and then using a vocabulary of several million words tries to figure out what to do with the text which is highly error prone (experiences errors 7-30 percent of the time) . Then the system accumulates statistics on a certain user and, applying its assumptions on what the man said, selects the most probable variants, according to Lamin. Our technology uses the context, the environment, and the previous dialogue to predict which general phrases can make sense at the moment. This is also a huge number, but significantly less than a few million,” he said.
Ratnik uniform kit to be equipped with Mukha UAV
The Russian army’s Ratnik uniform kit could be equipped with newly-developed Mukha unmanned armed vehicles (UAV), deputy head of Izhmash Unmanned Systems arms manufacturer said Friday.
“We have developed the Mukha unmanned complex… It is able to fly for 5 kilometers [about 3 miles] over a span of 40-45 minutes. The complex allows a soldier or a small unit to look around in 4-5 kilometers. The drone is carried in a special packing that can be equipped with Ratnik,” Evgeny Zaitsev told RIA Novosti
Ratnik-2 with Friend or Foe sensor
Russia’s futuristic Ratnik-2 infantry combat gear will feature a “friend-or-foe” sensor that will allow the country’s soldiers to rapidly distinguish allies from enemies, according to a report. The “friend-or-foe” system will likely operate via sensors placed in Russian soldiers’ uniforms, Russian outlet TASS reported. Soldiers will use a device to detect which uniforms on a battlefield possess a “friendly” signal as a means to distinguish them from enemy combatants.
“Research was underway to make the Ratnik suit lighter and to equip it with more offensive capability,” said Dmitry Semizorov, general director of Russia’s Central Research Institute of Precision Machine building. The gear also possesses aiming, navigation and target-finding systems, TASS noted.
Russian working on third generation of Ratnik combat gear.
Ratnik-3 Infantry Combat System is designed for military infantrymen/riflemen, snipers, airborne combat vehicle gunners and armored vehicle drivers.
Ratnik-3 reportedly comprises life support, command and communication, engaging, protection, and energy-saving subsystems as well as 59 other components, including advanced optics, a grenade launcher and the latest installation in Russia’s famous Kalashnikov series, the AK-12.
The components, include combat/tactical firearms, tactical armor plate carriers/body armor systems, combat helmet with anti-splitter transparent visor with heads-up display that provides relevant C4ISR information, advanced combat/tactical communications gear, chem/bio respirator/gas mask system with built-in microclimate support and a health monitoring system, adaptive camouflage BDU (Battle Dress Uniform), combat boots, combat pack (backpack) system, and the aforementioned powered exoskeleton system, all at lighter overall weight (several less kilograms).
It will feature an array of unique integrated biomechanical tools, including exoskeletal elements; it will feature built-in microclimate support and a health monitoring system. In the Ratnik-3, all information and targeting data will be directly fed to a visor or protective goggles.
Russia’s ‘soldier of the future’ combat outfit gets nuclear-blast resistant watch
Russia’s Ratnik “soldier of the future” combat gear has got a shockproof watch, which retains its properties upon the impact of radiation and electromagnetic impulses, for example, upon a nuclear blast, according to Chief Designer for the Life Support System of the Soldier Combat Outfit at the Central Scientific Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering .
The watch is equipped with a self-winding mechanism and continues working accurately in adverse climatic and operational conditions, and also in daily routines and during combat operations. Besides, the watch can even be used when swimming under water
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