Robots are going to be a major factor in the future of war. According to Forbes magazine, Russia is also developing robots to serve as soldier replacements.
For Russia, the question of robots taking over the role of soldiers on the battlefield is a matter of when, not if.
“Living fighters will gradually begin to be replaced by their robotic ‘brothers’ who can act faster, more accurately and more selectively than people,” Vitaly Davydov told RIA Novosti on April 21. Davydov is the deputy director of Russia’s Advanced Research Foundation, its DARPA analog.
Developing robots for war is an international phenomenon, and Davydov’s remarks fall into a broader pattern of Russia seeking to augment its existing military with new, autonomous capabilities.
“There is a still-classified Russia’s military robotics road-map that sketches out various stages of Russian unnamed military developments, which undoubtedly has been influenced by Russian military actions and experience in Syria,” says Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses.
While some Russian robots have underperformed expectations in combat, the Ministry of Defence is working on a new generation of combat machines for training and possible future use. At the center of this design is the Marker UGV, or uncrewed ground vehicle. Resembling a miniature tank with treads and turrets, the Marker is as much a test bed as it is a machine expected to see battle.
“The Ministry of Defence is discussing the eventual use of robotic swarms in combat— and Marker is definitely the platform to test that out,” says Bendett, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. “As envisioned, it will be able to launch swarms of UAVs or loitering munitions, making it a truly versatile robotic platform.” (source)