Russian Army starts evaluation of future soldier system

The Russian Army's 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division is evaluating a future high-tech soldier system at the Alabino Shooting Range in Moscow, Russian Defence Ministry ground forces spokesman lieutenant colonel Nikolai Donyushkin has confirmed.

Donyushkin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the system was being tested as part of military trials, and incorporates around 40 different elements for riflemen, scouts and mechanic-drivers.

"We intend to carry out unit trials based on these systems," Donyushkin said.

"The system has protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons."

"The system has protection against environmental threats from weapons of mass destruction and non-lethal weapons, command and information systems, communications, sensors, navigation systems, life support systems, protective eye-wear, sound-protection, thermal wear, water filtration, and body armour."

According to the spokesman, the tests results will be thoroughly studied by an army commission, which will then choose the best elements for further evaluations.

Russia had first announced negotiations with France to purchase Sagem-built Felin future infantry system for evaluation purposes in December 2011, and also attended presentation of Italy's Soldato Futuro system in March 2012.

However, Russia's chief of general staff general Nikolai Makarov later revealed that the country would domestically develop the system as part of the soldier military equipment (BES) programme.

RIA Novosti news agency, citing Russian Military-Industrial Commission first deputy chair Yury Borisov, reported earlier that the Russian system was expected to have a reasonable weight, compared with the existing 25kg, and feature at least ten modules for adaptability to varied combat environments.

Other future soldier systems versions are currently being trialled by Nato member nations, which includes the Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior in US, German IdZ, UK's FIST, Spanish COMFUT and Sweden's IMESS among others.