Robots and drones will undoubtedly play a growing role of importance in future warfare. A new report indicates the Russian military may be working on a rather unusual project. The country’s primary tank plant is working on unmanned variants. It seems the robot drone tank could go in production fairly soon albeit it might not necessarily be deployed in the real world.
Autonomous Tanks are Coming
One has to commend every form of advancement in terms of technology. Automation is an increasingly interesting avenue to explore for manufacturers. Whether it is home automation or military weaponry, the end result will be the same. Russia’s primary tank plant is in the process of building an autonomous tank capable of waging war.
It is not the first time Russian engineers are looking to build autonomous military vehicles either. The initial efforts date back to the 1930s, although most of those attempts were unsuccessful. In more recent years, things have started to look up. Numerous countries are building autonomous weapons in an effort to cut down on human casualties during times of conflict.
Thanks to recent advancements in autonomous technology, it is now possible to aim the tank’s turret with relative ease. Several decades ago, that was virtually impossible to do from a distance. If such weaponry had existed during the Cold War, history would have looked very different from what we know today. Unmanned tanks can aptly perform basic tasks autonomously, which doesn’t even require remote control.
It is a bit unclear why this field of research has been reopened in recent months. The Russian tanks industry has produced a new model which seemingly offers tremendous potential. Referred to as the T-72B3, the new unit is quite appealing. Combined with the modernization efforts of older Russian tanks, it is only normal unmanned vehicles would be looked into sooner or later. Several resources have been dedicated to developing unmanned combat robots.
These efforts can prove to be rather successful. Equipping existing tanks with new technology and infrastructure would be a wasted effort. Additionally the pre-existing models are all built to house human crewmen, rather than an automated system. Building new units from the ground up is the only viable course of action.
The big question is whether or not these automated tanks will ever be put to use. While the developments are still ongoing, it seems unlikely that Russia’s military will deploy these tanks to a combat zone in the near future. Although it could be the stepping stone toward unmanned ground combat of the future, there are still a lot of questions which need to be answered first and foremost.