Russian military lab unveils prototype of Star Wars-like combat suit (VIDEO)
The prototype features a helmet covering the soldier’s face and cutting-edge body armor.
The next-generation combat gear also includes a powered exoskeleton to help increase performance and stamina while fighting.
The prototype was unveiled on Thursday at the opening of Russia’s largest high-tech prototyping center at the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) in Moscow.
It was developed at the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building, a major Russian weapons designer and primary military supplier.
“We’re working on a concept for the combat suit of the future. On display is our vision of the suit we would like to develop within the next couple of years,” said Oleg Chikarev, deputy chief of weapons systems at the institute.
“We're also working with [Russian] companies specializing in various elements of combat equipment and we’re creating the features which, in our opinion, will help our soldiers carry out their missions on the battlefield,” he added.
The Russian military is actively preparing to meet the challenges of future warfare as major world powers are investing in research and development of next-generation combat systems, including exoskeletons and robotized platforms.
Last year, the military said robots and cyborgs will gradually replace human soldiers on land, in the air, at sea, and in outer space.
“I see a greater robotization, in fact, future warfare will involve operators and machines, not soldiers shooting at each other on the battlefield,” Lieutenant General Andrey Grigoriev, head of the Advanced Research Foundation (ARF) – viewed as Russia’s analogue of DARPA – told RIA Novosti in an interview in July last year.
However, as human soldiers will still play a role on the battlefield until robotized warfare becomes reality, work on Russia’s infantry combat system Ratnik 2 is underway, the AFR head said, adding that his agency is already looking for a next-generation upgrade.
The Legionnaire, a new project, will feature sophisticated firearms, communications systems, as well as enhanced gear ensuring all-round protection from bullets and shrapnel, allowing infantrymen “to feel comfortable in any environment.”