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Russia Has Developed ‘Weapons of the Future’: Defense Minister

The Russian military will soon be equipped with robots that are capable of fighting “on their own.”

Russia has developed war robots equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), Russia’s defense minister has claimed. It has also launched the mass production of such machines, he said.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu told state media Zvezda on Friday that the Russian military will soon be equipped with “not just some experimental prototypes” but robots that are capable of fighting “on their own.”

“A major effort” has been made to develop “the weapons of the future,” Shoygu said. The bots are said to be “capable of independently accessing a combat situation,” Russian state-controlled news channel RT reported.

Shoygu did not specify any weapons system, but Russia has previously disclosed autonomous and semi-autonomous machines it has developed. One of which is the Uran-9, an unmanned combat ground vehicle (UCGV) capable of providing remote reconnaissance and fire support to soldiers on the battlefield.

Russia Uran-9 robot tank
Russia’s Uran-9 armed unmanned ground vehicle. Image: Russian MoD/YouTube

Another machine revealed by the State is the Uran-6, a mine-clearing robotic system capable of detecting and removing explosive ordinance and anti-personnel, anti-tank mines. Russia used both units during its incursion in Syria.

Focus on AI

In February, Russia announced that it is increasing its focus on developing AI to create advanced weapons for the armed forces. 

“It is necessary to ensure the introduction of artificial intelligence technologies into weapons that determine the future appearance of the armed forces,” Shoigu said during a meeting with the army leadership.

Russia has also developed an AI-controlled underwater swarm drone system, according to reports. Surface and underwater vehicles, controlled by AI, are expected to be deployed in a range of missions, including against enemy aircraft carriers.

“Artificial intelligence, which will control the swarm of underwater drones, solves this problem in accordance with very specific and constantly changing circumstances,” Russian news outlet Gazeta.Ru quoted a source as saying.

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