The Uran-9 robotic armed vehicle has quietly entered military service, it’s producer has revealed. The 12-ton tracked ground drone was tested in Syria before being signed into mass production.
The drone is one of several products from a company called 766 UPDK, but control over it was recently transferred to Kalashnikov Concern, a leading Russian arms producer. In a recent interview Kalashnikov boss, Vladimir Dmitriev, said the robotic weapon system has been finally been accepted by the Russian military.
“We are currently completing the production of the first series lot,” he told Russian journalists. “The Urans have a good scientific and technological potential for developing further products.”
There are three Uran drones at the moment, the mine swiping Uran-6, the armed Uran-9 and the firefighting Uran-14. The fighting variant is armed with a 30-mm autocannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun and rockets with anti-tank and incendiary warheads. It can conduct reconnaissance missions or provide fire support to human troops.
The drawback of its relatively small size and mass is that it lacks the armor and active defense systems of a full-sized tank and may be vulnerable to portable anti-tank weapons, when the enemy has them, RT’s military expert Mikhail Khodarenok says.
Russian troops tested Uran-9s in Syria, and according to Dmitriev, the experience helped find new ways of improving the drone before starting mass production.