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Russia's Robot Tank Sucks, But Its Military Is Adopting It Anyway
It's official: the Russian military has adopted the Uran-9 unmanned ground vehicle developed by weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern despite a reportedly dismal performance during combat testing in Syria, Russian state media reported on Thursday.
Speaking to state-run news outlets, Kalashnikov general director Vladimir Dmitriev stated that the Russian army had adopted the tank for combat use, with the first production order "suitable for completion," per Russian newspaper Izvestia.
The Uran-9 is seen as a revolutionary combat asset for the Russian Ministry of Defense, bristling with a 7.62mm machine gun, anti-tank rocket launchers, and 30mm autocannon. But six months ago, the tank was completely unsuitable for combat of any kind.
In a candid admission at a Russian security conference in April 2018, Russian defense researcher Andrei P. Anisimov revealed several critical deficiencies in the Uran-9's combat systems that suggested that the robot tank, as Defence Blog put it at the time, "is not capable of performing the tasks assigned to it."
Those critical deficiencies include: a limited operational range of just 300-500 meters rather than 1.8 miles; periodic cases of both short-term and long-term loss of control; inconsistencies within the targeting software and hardware; and operational delays ii actually firing the vehicle's intimidating weaponry.
An Uran-9 unmanned ground combat vehicle as seen at the Day of Advanced Technologies of Law Enforcement in 2017(Vitaly Kuzmin)
There may be even more deficiencies lying beneath the surface. In May, military researcher Sam Bendett observed for the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command that testing video of the Uran-9 in action indicated that some serious issues likely arose during the downrange tests in Syria given the secrecy surrounding said tests.
"In reality, [the] Uran-9 tests in Syria should have garnered major attention from all major Russian news outlets, given how proud Russian [sic] are of their remote-controlled tank," Bendett told C4ISRNET at the time. "Still, such tests may have taken place in secret."
There's a chance that these issues have all been resolved: Jane's 360 reported in September 2018 that Kalashnikov was working on expanding the Uran-9's "range, response time, and data bandwidth" while bulking up its armament with an arsenal of Shmel rocket-propelled thermobaric grenades.
At the same time, Jane's source also stated that the Uran-9 would be finished with its operational evaluation and tests by the end of the year while also claiming that vehicle "demonstrated high performance in an operational environment" in Syria, a statement that we know is total b*llshit.
So what happens when U.S. forces run into one of those unmanned Uran-9 vehicles trundling around in Syria in the not-so-distant future? Assuming that those upgrades are just a cover for bad engineering, the answer is simple: Just hit it with a rock or something.
WATCH NEXT: Watch The Uran-9 Robot Tank In Action
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.
Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.