A day after the United States and Germany finally gave the green light to deliver their respective Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine, former Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin said these tanks would be obliterated by a combat robot codenamed ‘Marker.’
On January 25, Germany and the United States announced they would deliver Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine after weeks of dilly-dallying on the issue.
Further, Berlin went so far as to say that it will also aid the transfer of Leopard 2 from partner countries to the battlefield in Ukraine.
However, shortly after the announcement, the former Roscosmos Chief had figured out how his country would battle these incoming Western tanks. Moscow quickly criticized the move, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warning that any tanks sent to Ukraine by the United States would “burn like all the rest.”
The former Director General of Roscosmos and the Head of the special military advisory group known as “Tsar’s Wolves,” Dmitry Rogozin, told RIA Novosti a shock version of the Russian Marker robot would be deployed in Ukraine in February to obliterate NATO-delivered tanks.
Rogozin explained the combat robot would be able to automatically recognize and attack Ukrainian equipment, including American Abrams tanks and German Leopards, owing to the computerized catalog of photographs.
The Marker is an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which resembles a tank in appearance, if not in weapons. It also features a tracked platform like a tank, which may be equipped with various sensors and weapons. Among them are a drone-launching casing and a turret with machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
“The combat version of the Marker robot has an electronic catalog in the control system with images of targets both in the visible range and in the infrared. Accordingly, the robot can automatically determine the enemy’s equipment. For example, as soon as deliveries of the Abrams and Leopard tanks to the Ukrainian troops begin, Marker will receive an appropriate electronic image and be able to detect and hit American and German tanks with ATGMs automatically,” Rogozin said.
Earlier this month, Rogozin wrote on his Telegram Channel that the combat robot would undergo a “baptism of fire” on the battlefields of the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. At the time, he said Marker “functions autonomously” to carry out combat operations and locate targets up to 9.3 miles away.
The fact that Rogozin has pitted the new Russian robotic platform against Western-grade advanced battle tanks is significant. Until now, the Ukrainian Army has used the archaic Soviet-era tanks, the T-72s donated by NATO countries, or the tanks captured from the Russian troops.
However, now it hopes to break through Russian defensive positions and launch a massive counteroffensive using these cutting-edge battle tanks and armored vehicles from NATO allies. This offensive is expected to be launched in the spring when the snow has receded.
Markers Headed For Combat
Marker was developed by the “Android Technique” company in collaboration with the Advanced Research Foundation. It weighs over three tons and reportedly boasts Russia’s most sophisticated object identification and autonomous movement capabilities.
Earlier this month, Russia announced that it had concluded research on its experimental Marker robot combat vehicle. It is worth noting that the robot was developed as a robotized platform for testing the most advanced technologies for second-generation combat robots, which only undergo the concept development phase.
The vehicle has a suspended UAV inside, advanced weaponry, the ability to navigate terrain, and independently build a route. A modular multispectral vision system that uses neural network techniques to process data ensures the platform’s independence.
According to previous reports in Russian media, the combat version of the Marker robot has been tested at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome. It can pinpoint and fire upon enemy targets “in the affected area with its fire weapons.”
In his interaction with RIA Novosti, Rogozin explained that the robot could also autonomously prioritize targets. He said, “Let’s say it spotted a T-64, an armored personnel carrier, and some foreign equipment on the line of contact.
The robot will independently select a target according to priority based on which of them is the most significant – and hit it with the appropriate firepower.”
“Marker” has a swivel combat module capable of turning around 540 degrees in just one second. The module can be equipped with various anti-tank missile systems, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and other weapons.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Marker robot was never intended for combat. However, Russia has already deployed several new robots to support its operations in Syria and eastern Ukraine. On its part, the Marker may go over and beyond the capabilities of the robots fielded in the past.
Rogozin told the media that four Marker robots will be delivered to the Donbas in February, both in reconnaissance and strike versions. First, they will be tested at the training ground and later in combat.
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