Those that are nervous about the idea of killer robots had better not go to Russia. That nation’s military industrial complex is apparently developing the world’s first robotic army.

Around 30% of Russia’s military could be composed of robots and drones within 10 years under a proposal approved by the Russian Military Industrial Committee (the body that sets the Kremlin’s military policy), Defense Update reported. To make that dream a reality, the Kremlin has set up a Military Robotics Laboratory to develop and test autonomous weapons systems.

Some of those robots could be deployed with Russian forces as early as next year, according to Defense Update. A few of the robots are even scheduled to be field tested with the Russian army this year.

The Kremlin’s Real-Life Terminator

The scariest of these weapons is the Uran-9, which looks like something right out of the Terminator movies. The Uran-9 is basically the world’s first drone tank, which is for sale on the international market and about to go into action with Russia’s ground forces. There’s no word on whether it’s in Syria yet, but I imagine it will be.

The Uran-9 the future of warfare.
The Uran-9 the future of warfare.

The best way to think of the Uran-9 is as a Predator drone with tracks, except, being Russian, it is far more heavily armed. Current weaponry includes a 30 mm 2A72 automatic cannon, a 7.62 millimeter machine gun, four Igla-S Surface to air missiles and four 9M120 Ataka anti-tank missiles.

The scariest of these armaments is the automatic cannon, which can fire between 350 and 400 high-explosive or incendiary rounds a minute. The Ataka missile is also very destructive; it can wipe out most tanks, including the U.S. Army’s M-1 Abrams, at a range of 2.5 miles.

The Uran-9 is smaller than most tanks—it is about the size of a Jeep—so several of them can easily be shipped inside a transport plane. That makes this weapon a real game changer that could transform ground warfare in much the same way that U.S. drones have disrupted air warfare. A major use for Uran-9 will probably be urban warfare, where traditional tanks are vulnerable to bombs and ambushes.

Another logical use of such weapons would be to support guerrillas or other allies in the field. An even more obvious use would be to drop it on enemy territory, which could enable an army to conquer or occupy territory without risking casualties from their own soldiers. That means it is easier than ever for nations to wage war without facing any political consequences. President Obama could be able to send them to Syria to fight ISIS without the risk of Americans coming home in body bags.

Robot Armies for Sale

Now for the most frightening thing about the Uran-9: It is now for sale. Rosoboronexport, a division of a Russian arms manufacturer called Rostec State Corporation, has made it available for export sales. The system for sale consists of a truck containing a remote control system and two Uran-9 minitanks. So, dictators of the world, rejoice—you can now buy your own droid army and deploy it against those pesky guerrillas and protesters.

Such weapons are likely to be sold because Russia is essentially bankrupt because of the collapse of oil prices. Vladimir Putin may have little or no choice but to sell off military robots simply to pay the bills.

Russian soldiers taking a ride on the A800Mars
Russian soldiers taking a ride on the A800Mars

There are apparently a variety of them to choose from. In addition to the Uran-9, there are full-sized robotic tanks and the A800 Mobile Autonomous Robotic System, or MARS. The MARS is a robotic vehicle that can actually carry a squad of infantrymen into battle.

It looks as if a stock science fiction nightmare—that of robotic armies—is about to come true in Russia. We have to wonder how long it will be before these new weapons are deployed on the battle field or, worse, sent against unarmed civilians.

https://i1.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/1017558086-1.jpg?fit=1000%2C541&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/1017558086-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Daniel JenningsInnovationKremlin,Real-Life Terminator,Robot Army,Robot Tanks,Robotic Army,Uran-9,Vladimir PutinThose that are nervous about the idea of killer robots had better not go to Russia. That nation’s military industrial complex is apparently developing the world’s first robotic army. Around 30% of Russia’s military could be composed of robots and drones within 10 years under a proposal approved by the...From A Geek to a Geek