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Russia Upgrades ‘Tank Hunter’ Marker Robots With Powerful BAS-80 Kamikaze Drones

Russia is planning to equip its ‘tank destroyer’ Marker combat robot with a specialized BAS-80 drone that is small and compatible with the robot. Yevgeny Dudorov, the executive director of Android Technology, the company behind the Marker robot, stated that the drone would be integrated with the robot. During the development stage, Android Technology had created an aircraft-style drone called BAS-80, which was tested without any explosives. The goal was to incorporate the drone with the Marker robot, and it has already been tested on the platform. Moreover, Dudorov mentioned that the drone was designed to act as a kamikaze drone.

The Marker robot was jointly developed by Android Technology and the Foundation for Advanced Studies. Weighing roughly three tons, the robot has advanced autonomous movement capabilities based on AI technology for object recognition. The platform’s autonomy is achieved using a modular multispectral vision system that processes data via neural network algorithms. The Russian developers of the Marker robot claim that their robotic platform has the most advanced autonomous abilities for motion in unfamiliar environments and identifying objects using AI technologies. Android Technology experts are currently developing technology to enable precision drone launches, movement control, and accurate delivery to the designated target. The BAS-80 drone weighs about 1.7 kilograms without any warhead and can carry a potential warhead capacity of roughly 600 grams, which can be increased if needed. It has a flight range of up to 30 kilometers and can stay airborne for a maximum of 18 minutes. Dudorov emphasized that these drones are less expensive and lighter than those currently used in the Russian military, but their intended functions are comparatively simpler.

In January 2023, Russia announced that the development of its experimental Marker robot combat vehicle had been completed. The robot was built to test advanced technology for second-generation combat robots, which are still in the conceptual stage. The Marker combat robot can traverse autonomously through any terrain and is equipped with cutting-edge weapons and a suspended unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A modular multispectral vision system ensures the platform’s independence and employs neural network techniques to process data. The Marker robot can independently determine the priority of targets using a catalog of enemy equipment. The Marker combat module can rotate 540 degrees within a second and can be equipped with various weapons, including anti-tank missile systems, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, and more.

The Marker comes in two variations: the “scout” variant, with sensors and a drone designed to assist in scouting activities, and an anti-tank missile-equipped model capable of engaging tanks such as Leopard and Abrams. Although the Marker robot was not initially designed for warfare, Russia has already deployed these robots to support its operations in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

According to a Russian manufacturer’s earlier statement, the company is modifying one of its ground robots to specifically target Abrams and Leopard tanks that are being shipped to Ukraine from the US, Germany, Poland, and other nations. Dmitry Rogozin, former head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, stated in an interview with RIA Novosti that the electronic catalog in the robot’s control system, which contains images of enemy equipment, would allow the Marker to automatically recognize and strike Abrams, Leopard, and other vehicles. In February of this year, Russia sent the first four Markers to Donbas for testing, and if successful, the Marker combat robots could potentially impact future military operations. Its advanced capabilities in detecting and targeting enemy equipment could provide a strategic advantage to the Russian forces.

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