Experts say the deadly drone swarms would be virtually impossible defend against — as so many are bound to slip through and and reach their targets. Credit: TASS.

Russia’s imposing, relentless drive to equip its troops with the latest weapons, continues unabated, TASS news service reported.

According to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, small size attack drones and also robots and exoskeletons will be integrated with Russia’s new generation soldier gear, the commander of ground forces, General of the Army Oleg Salyukov said.

“One of the current research and development projects, being carried out at the request of the ground forces’ command, envisages creation of a new generation combat gear incorporating elements that enhance the personnel’s physical abilities, such as combat and special exoskeletons, and the integration of combat and support robots as well as reconnaissance and attack drones of small and mini class,” Salyukov said.

Such equipment will enhance each soldier’s situational awareness, facilitate the performance of combat missions and minimize the level of physical effort and risks to life, TASS reported.

Russia is catching up with the West in terms of military drone technology, but it still has a ways to go.

Earlier, the Russian corporation Rostec said that the next generation combat gear Sotnik, being developed by one of its affiliates — the Central Scientific-Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering TasNIItochMash — will incorporate micro-drones, connected with a tactical level automated command system, TASS reported.

Images from its cameras will be projected to the helmet’s visor or protective glasses. The corporation said nothing about plans for integrating attack drones with the new generation combat gear, though.

Research and development for the new generation gear will last from 2020 to 2023. In 2025, the Sotnik (Centurian) is scheduled to replace the “Terminator like” Ratnik (Warrior) armor, TASS reported.

It is expected that the Sotnik combat gear will consist of totally new ammunition and firearms, landmine-proof boots, a special thermal suit making the soldier invisible to infrared sensors, and an antiradar suit.

Commands, maps of the terrain and other crucial information will be displayed on electronic eyeglasses, TASS reported.

Also, the Sotnik will be 20% lighter than the Ratnik — about 20 kilograms.

A chromogenic electroactive material, supposedly capable of changing color in accordance with the color of the terrain and the environment — essentially an invisibility cloak — will guarantee excellent camouflage parameters, TASS reported.

Rostec corporation official Sergei Abramov confirmed the futuristic elements in R&D for the Sotnik system, research group The Jamestown Foundation reported.

“The work on next-generation gear is continuing. We have a sufficient R&D reserve for this,” he said.

“Possibly, there will be some robotized systems integrating artificial intelligence with human capabilities. Research is in progress into using powered exoskeletons, micro-drones and new weapons.”

While the Sotnik infantry combat system will, in the future, denote a marked improvement on the existing Ratnik systems, its main advance will lie in masking its wearer from thermal or radar imaging, while enhancing capabilities through the use of AI technologies.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press office announced in April, that Kalashnikov would hand over 40,000 AK-12 advanced assault rifles to the Russian armed forces in 2020.

According to Army Recognition online, the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is a gas-operated, selective fire weapon using traditional type action with long-stroke gas piston and rotary bolt locking.

Firing selector levers are located above the pistol grip, at both sides of the rifle. The AK-12 features three firing modes: single shot, three-shot burst, and automatic fire.