Nerekhta robotic system to be added to Russian special forces’ inventory

Defence & Security News - Russia
 
Nerekhta robotic system to be added to Russian special forces’ inventory
Russian advanced robotic system Nerekhta will be accepted for service by Russian special forces and scouts, according to the Izvestia daily.
     
Nerekhta robotic system to be added to Russian special forces inventory 640 002The Nerekhta advanced robotic system
     
It will be able to destroy heavy armor and fortifications all by itself by driving up close and personal and detonating itself. The mini-robot developed and made by the Degtyaryov Plant in the town of Kovrov features high maneuverability and low observability - it can sneak up on the enemy utterly silently.

The Nerekhta has been put on the list of promising robotic systems earmarked for entering service with the Russian Armed Forces, a Defense Ministry official close to the subject told the Izvestia newspaper. If the platform proves itself in the trials, it will enter the inventories of the reconnaissance units and special forces.

According to Degtyaryov Deputy Chief Designer for Robotics Dmitry Fufayev, the Nerekhta is undergoing its in-house tests.

"The light tracked platform has been used as a mobile target from the outset, but at the military’s request we have tailored it to carry radio-controlled explosive devices," Fufayev explained. "The robot is in the in-house trials, and we continue to improve it."

The Nerekhta is based on a light chassis with rubber tracks. It looks like a mini-tank, with the turret replaced by a container stuffed with high explosives. The robot is clad in armor protecting it and the high explosives against small-arms fire and fragments.

Weighing 300 kg and measuring just above 1 m long, the robot can noiselessly haul several hundred kilograms of high explosives at a speed of 11 km/h, propelled by its electric motor.

The operating principle of the robot’s guidance system is simple enough. Prior to a battle, the battlefield map and the grids of the targets subject to elimination are downloaded in its memory. In battle, commandos only need to push a button on their control console to select a pre-set target. After receiving the radio command, the Nerekhta will move to the target on its own and destroy it.
     
Nerekhta robotic system to be added to Russian special forces inventory 640 001
The Nerekhta
advanced robotic system
     
According to Dmitry Fufayev, the capability was showed during a restricted-access demonstration at the Army 2016 International Military-Technical Forum.

"In the course of a complex vignette, scouts were riding quadbikes to pinpoint the notional enemy. Nerekhta robotized systems were being used to provide coverage for them," Dmitry Fufayev said. "During the demonstration, each of the platforms used eliminated a simulated enemy armored object by self-detonation. We are going to fit the platform with a manipulator that will make it reusable. The robot will be able to drop the explosive device near the target and return to base. We also will increase the robot’s speed for this purpose."

According to expert Alexei Khlopotov, a robot exploding on impact with an enemy combat vehicle was developed as far back as the Second World War.

"Suffice it to say that German self-propelled mine Goliath was used on all fronts in WWII," Alexei Khlopotov noted. "It was a remotely controlled tracked minitank carrying 100 kg of high explosives to destroy tanks, bunched-up manpower and buildings."

At present, the most promising foreign kamikaze robots are the Israeli-made Rambot and South Korean-developed iRobot FirstLook. They are rather miniature vehicles popular with cops and tailored to deal with terrorists and criminals indoors.

"Essentially, the foreign kamikaze robots are nothing more than mobile radio-controlled hand grenades," Khlopotov explained. "They are simply thrown into a window and then they deliver a small amount of high explosive to the malefactors hunkering down in the building."

At the same time, the Nerekhta can destroy main battle tanks and pull down whole buildings, while being rather diminutive and agile, according to the Izvestia newspaper.

The Nerekhta is a combat robotic system co-developed by the Degtyaryov Plant and Advanced Research Foundation. The tracked platform is fit for reconnaissance, fire, fire adjustment and cargo carriage. The robot was unveiled at the Russian Defense Ministry Innovation Day in 2015.

The robot mounts 7.62-mm and 12.7-mm machineguns and, according to the source, may well be equipped with a new machinegun to be developed specifically for it. In addition, the Nerekhta has recently received the organic TB-29B unmanned helicopter and SAU-9.0 vehicle and weapon automatic control system
     
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