Das amerikanische Magazin “Forbes” befasst sich mit dem russischen Roboter-Panzer Marker:
- Schon operiere der Roboter über 100 Kilometer hinweg. Das Ziel laute allerdings 200 Kilometer.
- Der Marker setze ganze Drohnenschwärme ein.
- Die Bewaffnung bestehe aus einem 7,62-mm-Maschinengewehr und der Abschussvorrichtung für Laser-gesteuerte Panzerabwehrraketen.
- Der Marker stosse zu anderen russischen Roboter-Projekten wie Uran-9, Shturm, Soratnikand und der unbemannten Version des Kampfpanzers T-14 Armata, der am 9. Mai 2015 auf dem Roten Platz vorstellt wurde. Der Experte Samuel Bendett halte es für denkbar, dass das russische Expeditionscorps in Syrien die Roboter-Panzer an der dortigen Front erprobe.
Es folgt der Originaltext von “Forbes”:
Russia’s Robot Tank Launches Drone Swarm
A Russian combat robot is breaking new ground in autonomy, patrolling without human assistance, navigating its way across a 100-kilomter route and working with a swarm of drones. The new demonstrations may look like me-too achievements in terms of competing with the West. Unlike the U.S. though, Russia puts its robots into the field, and the technology is likely to be used sooner rather than later.
The Marker unmanned ground vehicle is being developed by Russia’s equivalent of DARPA, the Foundation for Advanced Studies (FPI). It is armed with a 7.62mm machine gun and a pair of guided anti-tank missiles, and has been involved in several development projects.
“The Marker concept is a technology demonstrator, to see what technologies and systems can work, and to experiment with different approaches to building a functional UGV,” Samuel Bendett, an expert on Russian unmanned systems, and adviser to both the CNA and CNAS told Forbes.
This is part of a plan of autonomous travel for Marker which started in 2019 and which ultimately aims to include 200-km trips. It some ways it is a replica of DARPA’s own 2005 Grand Challenge which saw autonomous vehicles competing to finish a 210 km route following similar rules.
The report also described tests of the Marker’s ability to autonomously patrol a given area.
In separate demonstrations, the marker was teamed with a swarm of drones. In a 2019 video, Marker was shown working with a group of fifteen drones which worked together in three teams of five. These provided long-range scouting capability, allowing the Marker to see into inaccessible places, especially in an urban environment. They can also pass on target data for the Marker to engage targets which it cannot see directly – similar to the EU’s Beyond Line of Sight project which demonstrated anti-tank missiles directed by small drones.
In the new demonstration, the Market itself acts as a drone carrier, and presumably communications relay for the drones. The motive for having so many is not just to provide a wide coverage, but also to field swarms of the kamikaze attack drones or loitering munitions which Russia is starting to field.
“The Marker will at some point be tested with combat drones and loitering munitions as well,” says Bendett, noting that Russia has previously experimented with teaming other robotic vehicleswith drones. The idea may be gaining traction there.
Bendett notes that Marker is a modular system, so different contractors can offer new technology which is simply be plugged in and tested. This allows new ideas and technologies to be fats-tracked into the testing process.
“The Russian MoD is considering the development and integration of autonomous and robotic systems in its military force. This will be a methodical process that will try to address the main technological issues with such an integration,” says Bendett. “There is a formation of a 20-strong Uran-9 UGVunit so that the MOD would learn the use of such technology in combat and as part of an integrated force.“
The autonomy solutions developed for the Market would be shared across a number of robot platforms, including the Uran-9, Shturm, Soratnikand possibly the uncrewed version of the T-14 Armata battle tank.
A key difference between Russia and the U.S. is what although America has been developing armed ground robots for some 40 years, there have always been objections to actually fielding them. The Air Force routinely fly drone strike missions, but ground robots like MAARS seem to be marooned in development hell. (There have been hints of covert U.S. use of such robotsbut nothing official).
By contrast, Russia fielded armed Uran-9 robots in Syria: they performed badly, but the Russian learned from the experience, and we can expect the new technology to go the same way.
“We would also probably see such UGV tests conducted in Syria at some point,” says Bendett. “Uran-9 failures there in 2018 taught the designers important lessons that were supposedly incorporated into Uran-9 modifications. Such tech would then be tested in real or ‘near’ combat conditions.”
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu recently boasted that his military had tested over 320 types of weapon in Syria. Their autonomous ground robots may be in Chelyabinsk, but they will be on the battlefield tomorrow – and there will be an improved version as a result the next day. It seems Russia is gambling on aggressive development in very literal fashion in its goal of fielding a robotic Red Army.