Russia is to press ahead with the deployment of a robot army amid tensions at the Ukraine border, it is reported.
The futuristic technology was inspected this week by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu at the 766th Production and Technological Enterprise in Nakhabino near Moscow, according to reports.
This new fleet of machinery is expected to trail blaze for technology still in development by Russian forces.
One is understood to operate underwater while work is also progressing on spy robots, reports suggest.
It comes after Russia sent troops to the border with Ukraine, and it is feared war could break out.
The defence ministry announced: “The first unit with strike robots will be set up in the Russian Armed Forces to operate five Uran-9 robotic systems or 20 combat vehicles."
Troops will undergo training “to operate Uran-9 robotic vehicles in special military units”, the ministry added.
A video shows the unmanned tank in action.
It is armed with a 30mm automatic gun, Ataka anti-tank missiles and Shmel flamethrowers.
The Russian army currently possesses mine clearance robots called Uran-6, firefighting Uran-14s, as well as assault Uran-9s.
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Shoigu ordered the robot designers to improve the technical capacity of his unmanned army to overcome the impact of “strong electromagnetic radiation as well as radioactive pollution”.
“We expect to continue expanding the range of robots, which, of course, are already in demand in the military today,” he said.
“These will be heavy robots (for mine clearance) and everything related to the further development of scouts, radiation and chemical reconnaissance robots.
“This applies to surface and underwater robots.”
The strike and mining clearance robots have been battle tested in Syria, ahead of the formation of the first unit.
“Shortcomings were identified during the tests in Syria. In particular, the issues of control, reduced mobility, and unsatisfactory military intelligence and surveillance functions had been considered by engineers and were rectified,” said Vladimir Dmitriev, head of the Kalashnikov Concern.
It is unclear if Russia is deploying its new-age robot tanks with the massing of firepower now underway on Ukraine’s borders.
Russia claims to have intercepted a US spy plane as tensions mount over a new war in Ukraine.
Footage seems to show a MiG-31 fighter jet stopping a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of Russia.
Kremlin defence chiefs claim it was escorted over the Pacific Ocean.
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