Russian Ministry of Defense to buy additional Nerekhta combat robots

According to the Izvestia, the Russian Ministry of Defense will buy additional Nerekhta combat robots, which were first used in the Zapad-2021 exercises, and assign them to protect strategic facilities.
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Nerekhta combat robots have been used for the first time during the Zapad-2021 strategic exercise (Picture source: screenshot of Russian TV)

The decision has been taken to purchase additional Nerekhta combat robots for the Russian army, Izvestia sources in the military department said. They will protect strategic and critical facilities. Previously, the new technology was successfully tested in the Strategic Missile Forces. Now it is decided to expand the scope of their applications.

On September 13, Nerekhta, together with other robotic systems, took part in the main stage of the Zapad-2021 strategic exercises at the Mulino training ground, in the Nizhny Novgorod region. This was the first time they were used directly in combat formations of combined arms subunits. During the development of the defense, the heavier Uran-9 destroyed the armored vehicles of the advancing simulated enemy, and the Nerekhta were used for reconnaissance and fire support of the subunits. The samples exhibited for the exercise are equipped with a 12.7-mm Kord machine gun and an AG-30M 30mm automatic grenade launcher.

As noted in the Ministry of Defense, "Nerekhta", in addition to performing reconnaissance and fire missions, can also direct fire, deliver equipment and ammunition. Nerekhta is a relatively small system: 2.5 m long and 1.5 m wide. Despite its modest size, its chassis can take up to half a ton of payload. The system can reach 32 km/h. The robot is unable to act and open fire on its own (autonomously): it is constantly under the remote control of a human operator.

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Nerekhta combat robot during the experimental phase in 2015 (Picture source: D.R.)

On the basis of the robotic platform, several modifications have been created for different tasks. In addition to the fire support system, which can carry a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun and a 30mm grenade launcher, a reconnaissance device has been created, where the weapons are replaced with appropriate equipment. A transport platform that can also be used to supply units, evacuate the wounded and other tasks.

Electric motors make the robot silent. Combined with its low profile, this becomes an important advantage in reconnaissance missions.

Since 2016, an experimental batch of these systems has been operated in the strategic missile forces in the Irkutsk region. Nerekhty equipped with optoelectronic equipment, a thermal imager, a laser rangefinder and other means are used to protect the areas where strategic objects are located, as well as to patrol the routes of their advance.

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Uran-9 combat robots have been used along Nerekhta ones during Zapad-2021 (Picture source: Russian MoD)