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Battle Tech: Why Russia's Ratnik 3 is a 'Breakthrough Infantry Combat System'

© Sputnik / Nikolay Hiznyak / Go to the photo bankA serviceman with the Central Military District's peacekeeping unit during tactical exercises conducted at the firing ground to train in Ratnik infantry combat system use
A serviceman with the Central Military District's peacekeeping unit during tactical exercises conducted at the firing ground to train in Ratnik infantry combat system use - Sputnik International
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With almost every Russian land force serviceman due to be equipped with the state-of-the-art Ratnik infantry combat system by 2020, Sputnik delves into what makes Ratnik unique.

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Late last week, Alexander Romanyuta, head of the Russian Land Force's Military-Scientific Committee, expressed hope that by 2020 "almost every serviceman in the ground forces will be provided with Ratnik kits."

Earlier, Russia's Land Forces commander Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov said that work on the creation of the Ratnik-3 personal combat uniform is already under way.

According to Russian military expert Sergey Cherkasov, it took Russia 15 years to create "a breakthrough infantry combat system," which provides "unprecedented communication capabilities both within a squad and between a combat unit and a command center."

The Ratnik gear is comprised of more than 40 components, including firearms, body armor, an optical array, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems.

© Sputnik / Yuri Streletc / Go to the photo bankServicemen with the Central Military District's peacekeeping unit during tactical exercises conducted at the firing ground to train in Ratnik infantry combat system use
Servicemen with the Central Military District's peacekeeping unit during tactical exercises conducted at the firing ground to train in Ratnik infantry combat system use - Sputnik International
Servicemen with the Central Military District's peacekeeping unit during tactical exercises conducted at the firing ground to train in Ratnik infantry combat system use

The Ratnik outfit is mainly designed for snipers, riflemen, drivers of armored vehicles and airborne combat vehicle gunners.

The Ratnik-2 outfit adds significantly to the soldier's combat efficiency and survivability, not least because it's lighter: at 20 kilos, it weighs only half as much as its predecessor.

As for the third generation Ratnik infantry combat kit, it will feature an array of unique integrated biomechanical tools, including exoskeletal elements; it will feature built-in microclimate support and a health monitoring system.

In the Ratnik-3, all information and targeting data will be directly fed to a visor or protective goggles.

© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov / Go to the photo bankA soldier demonstrates the "Ratnik" Soldier Combat Equipment Set during a military exercise at Alabino range, Moscow Region. File photo
A soldier demonstrates the Ratnik Soldier Combat Equipment Set during a military exercise at Alabino range, Moscow Region. File photo  - Sputnik International
A soldier demonstrates the "Ratnik" Soldier Combat Equipment Set during a military exercise at Alabino range, Moscow Region. File photo

The Ratnik gear helps a soldier maintain stable radio contact with other units and receive continuously updated reconnaissance data about enemy positions and the overall situation in the combat zone, something that experts say really makes a serviceman an "intellectual fighting machine."

Notably, information about a squad of soldiers equipped with the Ratnik kits is directly relayed to the screen of its commander's tablet computer.

What's more, the squad's activity can be remotely monitored by the Defense Minister and the Commander-in-Chief of Russia with the help of the Ratnik-clad soldiers' individual action cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles, according to the Russian news network Zvezda. 

The features of the Ratnik kit's "battlefield's electronics" have become unique, Zvezda said, adding that a wounded solder equipped with Ratnik-3 can report to his commander by pressing just one button on his gear.

If a soldier loses consciousness as the result of a severe injury, his commander will be notified with the help of the soldier's specially-designed watch or a bracelet that is configured to supply a signal if a person does not move for more than 40 seconds.

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The Ratnik-3's unique army watch includes a whole range of sophisticated features such as a navigation module, a motion sensor and a life activity sensor.

As for the motion sensor, it can even help detect the approach of enemy intelligence units, Zvezda said. The network also touted the Ratnik-3's electronics, which combine a range finder, binoculars, a navigation system, a digital camera as well as a video camera and an information transmitter in a single device.

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