MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) – The Defense Ministry will start official tests of a new thermal vision scope as part of Russia’s futuristic combat kit later this month, the system’s developer said Thursday.
There are currently 160 prototype scopes at an army special forces (spetsnaz) facility near Moscow, said Oleg Yakovlev, advisor to the general director of the Tsiklon scientific research institute.
The scope, which can spot a target at a distance of 800-1,200 meters, is an essential component of the much touted cutting-edge Ratnik (Warrior) set and will cost around 1 million rubles ($30,000) per unit, he said.
Tests could last from several months to a year and a half, he added.
“We hope the final state tests will be a success and Ratnik’s thermal imaging system will be adopted in 2014,” Yakovlev said.
Russian defense officials previously said Ratnik had not been put into service yet due to delays in the fine-tuning of the new set’s light weapons.
The Ratnik kit is comprised of more than 40 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems.
It can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts.