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Russia Readies Futuristic Autonomous Combat Vehicle, Tiny Drone Tank for Battle

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The Uran-9 unmanned drone tank is set to enter military service by the end of 2016 providing Russia another innovative battlefield edge over its adversaries.

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Russia’s new Vikhr unmanned combat ground vehicle (UCGV) was showcased at the Army 2016 military technical forum to rave reviews with the tank providing Moscow an elite military edge while keeping the country’s armed forces out of harm’s way through technological innovation.

The unmanned tank is based on the BMP-3 infantry fighter vehicle (IFV) with a name that translates to "Whirlwind" highlighting the hopes that the country has that their new secret weapon will be a game changer in the battlefield.

The 14.7 ton self-sufficient combat system looks like something out of an action movie featuring a robotic turret that aims automatically to engage ground and aerial targets in order to protect strategic facilities and minimize battlefield casualties.

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"This is a robotic system. It means, it can be either controlled by an operator or accomplish certain tasks autonomously. For example, it can reach a set destination without any human control and avoid obstacles on its own," Dmitry Bogdanov, deputy CEO at the Sevastopol-based Impulse-2 Scientific and Technical Center, told Sputnik.

The tank travels at an impressive 37MPH (60kph) on land and can even traverse through deep water. It is armed with a 300mm automatic cannon 2A72 with 500 shells, a 2000 round coaxial machine gun, and six anti-tank guided missiles.

In addition to the Vikhr which stole the show at the Army 2016 military technical forum, Russian defense contractor Rosoboronexport unleashed the Uran-9 tracked armored vehicle controlled remotely by an operator with a 30-milimeter cannon that can fire at the rate of 350 to 400 rounds per minute shooting highly explosive incendiary and armor-piercing munitions.

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The little killer that reaches a height of only about ten feet was expected to enter military service in 2017 or 2018, but reports indicate that the fighting vehicle will be ready for service by the end of this year.

Russia plans to export the fireproof tank that some defense analysts worry will disrupt traditional ground war combat models boasting a heavy dose of lethality without the danger of harm to the soldier operating the system remotely perhaps sparking the first salvo in a futuristic drone war.

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