Russia Says Its ‘Iron Man’ Exoskeleton Suits Proved ‘Very Effective’ In Syrian Military Operations

The use of passive exoskeletons has helped to boost the combat capabilities of Russia’s military units that operate in Syria, Russian Rostec state corporation has told Sputnik.

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“Apart from increasing capabilities of a [single] soldier, [the exoskeleton] increases the combat potential of an entire [combat] unit.

The tactical use experience speaks to that as well. There are sappers units equipped with passive exoskeletons operating in Syria,” Russia’s Rostec said at the ongoing Army-2021 military forum in the Moscow Region.

Despite not having electric motors, passive exoskeletons can minimize the pressure on one’s musculoskeletal system, allowing a soldier to carry a heavy load across long distances on flat terrain.

Earlier as EurAsian Times reported, Russia made significant progress (in developing exoskeletons) AND keeping its project on track – with modest but efficient technology. Russian ‘Ratnik’ combat suits built by the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building or TSNIITOCHMASH, have already been used in Syria.

Ratnik (program) - Wikipedia
File Image: Ratnik (program) – Wikipedia

The Ratnik is an unpowered suit that applies springs and brilliant engineering to take off the load from the shoulders of the soldier and can help them to carry extended patrols with ‘heavy weight’.

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Being unpowered, the systems are not tormented with the difficulties encountered by the US in their TALOS program – who attempted to develop suits using hydraulics and motors which work on electricity and leave their bearer stranded in case the battery gets exhausted.

The suits are being used in the automotive industry, where they have reportedly decreased the number of back and shoulder injuries and improved efficiency.

Exoskeleton Technologies: Military | Lockheed Martin
File Image: Exoskeleton Technologies: Military | Lockheed Martin

Speaking to Forbes, TSNIITOCHMASH CEO Albert Bakov had earlier stated – “The main challenge consists in choosing materials for exoskeletons. They should be both durable and light”, who did not provide more details about the program.

Reemphasizing the issues encountered by the US, Bakov added, “A battery of the required capacity and size has not been developed yet” while asserting that the powered version might be developed in the future.

According to an earlier Forbes report, the Ratnik exoskeleton only takes few minutes to wear and can be removed quickly with a quick-release mechanism. It can also mount weapons along with bearing weight and costs over $3,500 per unit.