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Russia Developing Unmanned Urban Combat Vehicles 

Russian defense manufacturer Uralvagonzavod is developing a range of unmanned urban combat vehicles, RIA Novosti reported.

All the Shturm series vehicles are being built on the chassis of the T-72B3 tank and will be mobile controlled, the state-owned Russian news agency added, citing two sources.

One type will be equipped with a 125-mm smooth-bore short-barreled gun as its primary weapon, while the second will feature weapons including “a unit of Shmel rocket launchers, paired 30-mm automatic cannons, and a unit of 220-mm thermobaric unguided rockets.”

All vehicles will feature a high level of protection against anti-tank weapons, the outlet revealed.

Shorter Barrel for Close Quarters 

The short barrels included with the vehicles are for close quarters combat in urban environments.

“A short barrel with a minimum offset beyond the dimensions of the combat vehicle will provide Shturm with good mobility and efficiency in urban narrowness or blockages,” a source explained to the outlet.

“Considering the minimum range of fire contact in an urban environment, the muzzle velocity reduced due to the short barrel will not affect the effectiveness of hitting targets.” 

The vehicles are being built to provide cover to armored vehicles during urban warfare by identifying and neutralizing enemy “long-term firing points, and manpower, primarily anti-tank crews.”

Challenges Ahead

Viktor Murakhovsky, a military expert and the editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland, told RIA Novosti that integrating Shturm vehicles “into the regular structures of the troops,” and developing coordination with other elements of force structure would be challenging.

“The organization and maintenance of continuous interaction in combined arms combat is in itself one of the most difficult and non-trivial tasks in the art of war,” Murakhovsky said.

“This process will require large-scale practical training for troops covering a variety of tactics.”

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