ALABINO (Moscow Region), August 5 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry hopes to start purchases of domestically designed «future soldier» gear Ratnik, which is currently in its final trials, already in October, the head of a military and scientific department of Russia’s Ground Forces said Tuesday.
“Ratnik is currently undergoing its final tests and we hope that since October all the components will be purchased in series and supplied to the troops,” Aleksander Romanyuta said
“If any deficiencies are found, they will be eliminated during the first year of exploitation,” he said.
The head of the Tochmash state arms firm based near Moscow, Dmitry Semizorov, said the Russian Defense Ministry plans to get 50,000 Ratnik sets annually. This will allow the industry to fulfill the task of providing the Army with 70 percent of the new equipment.
Semizorov added that the weapons-making agency has also started creating a new combat gear that is set to replace Ratnik in coming years.
Ratnik comprises about 50 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems.
The equipment can be used by regular infantry, paratroopers, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts.
Many other nations have similar future soldier equipment programs in progress, including the US Land Warrior, Germany’s IdZ, Britain’s FIST, Spain’s COMFUT, Sweden’s IMESS and France’s FELIN.