As talk of Russian interference in American and European elections continues, Russia has been stepping up its provocative actions. From tough talk in Syria, to fly-bys on American military aircraft, the country is posturing. And now they’re teasing reporters with a new battle suit, one they hope will show off Russian technological advancements.
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News outlets like RT.com are comparing the suit to something out of Star Wars. The Halo video games may be a better comparison. The suit itself is real, but its capabilities still remain a mystery.
The suit conforms to some time-tested standards. The armor is on the outside of a camouflaged base layer. The model, who appears tall and imposing in the get-up, is wearing a helmet.
As this is a prototype, there’s not much in the way of specifics available on the materials. Instead, the suit is being described in the broadest terms as “cutting edge.” There is a powered exoskeleton, at least on the boots.
The suit went on display Thursday at the opening of a prototyping facility at the National University of Science and Technology in Moscow. The suit was built by the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building. The company designs weapons for the Russian military.
“We’re working on a concept for the combat suit of the future. On display is our vision of the suit we would like to develop within the next couple of years,” Oleg Chikarev, deputy chief of weapons systems at the institute, said.
“We’re also working with [Russian] companies specializing in various elements of combat equipment and we’re creating the features which, in our opinion, will help our soldiers carry out their missions on the battlefield.”
Just like McDonald’s, Russian is hoping to replace soldiers on the battlefield with robots. Cyborg like hybrids and armor like this are a step in that direction.
“I see a greater robotization, in fact, future warfare will involve operators and machines, not soldiers shooting at each other on the battlefield,” Lieutenant General Andrey Grigoriev, head of the Advanced Research Foundation spoke with reporters from RIA Novosti last July. This suit gets them one step closer to the goal.
Those looking for specifics in the display are left wanting more. This was more show than show-and-tell. The visor of the helmet does have a mock-up of a heads-up-display that is intriguing, and the potential for a functional exoskeleton is something countries all over the world are racing to develop.
So we are left to imagine the possibilities.