Russia to export armed ground robots

By Dmitry Fediushko

Russia has received the first request for delivery of its new Uran-9 armed unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), according to the country’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (Federalnaya Sluzhba PO Voyenno-Tekhnicheskomy Sotrudnichestvu, FSVTS).

“One can state the growth of interest in the unmanned systems, which have been marketed by Rostec’s company Rosoboronexport since 2018. FSVTS has received foreign customers’ requests for the Uran-9E (E for Eksportniy, Export-oriented) multipurpose robotised system and the Orion-E unmanned aerial system with medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles,” said a spokesperson for FSVTS during the Army 2019 defence show held in Kubinka near Moscow in late June.

The Russian military has detailed only the domestic modification of the Uran-9 robot; thus, the features of the export-oriented variant are still unknown. The Uran-9 robotised system integrates a mobile command and control post, four unmanned combat vehicles, and support systems and spare parts. The UGV weighs some 12 tonnes and is fitted with an electric transmission, a diesel-electric powerplant with a power output of 300 hp, and a light armoured hull. Its armament suite incorporates a wide range of weapons, including up to six RPO PDM-A Shmel-M rocket launchers (‘flamethrowers’, according to Russian designation), one 2A72 30 mm automatic cannon, one Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62 mm general-purpose machinegun, and up to four upgraded 9M120-1 Akaka “AT-9 Spiral-2” anti-tank guided missiles. The UGV can be controlled at a distance of up to 3 km. The Uran-9 is manufactured by 766th UPTK, which is now controlled by Rostec’s Kalashnikov Group.

The Russian military is reported to have adopted the Uran-9; however, there is no official confirmation of the adoption.

The Russian Armed Forces are also receiving the Uran-6 mine clearance UGV and the Uran-14 firefighting robot. In 2019 the military engineers units will get more than 10 Uran-6 robotised platforms.

Russian defence industry largely invests in the development of robots, including combat ones. At the Army 2019 exhibition, Rose’s High-Precision Weapons holding showed the Paladin combat UGV which was, in fact, a remotely controlled BMP-3 Dragun (Dragoon) infantry fighting vehicle.

Photo by Dmitry Fediushko