The Russian military has reaffirmed its commitment to robot tanks – or more correctly remotely controlled armoured vehicles – confirming that tests of a 20 tonne robot tank will begin in 2018.
The lead design bureau for developing robot tanks in Russia is the famous Kalashnikov concern, designer and manufacturer of the well known series of rifles.
Some militaries have shown some skepticism about the actual combat capabilities of military robots. However the Russian military do not seem to share these doubts and the Kalashnikov concern has already produced two military robots – the 7 tonne Soratnik and the 300 kg Nerekhta. Apparently the Soratnik has been successfully tested in combat in Syria.
The Soratnik can be seen in action on manoeuvres in this video produced by the Russian Defence Ministry
A 20 tonne robot tank would represent a dramatic increase in size and capability. The Russians however have spoken of even bigger and more powerful robot tanks, with a robot version of the new T-14 Armata tank apparently already on the drawing board.