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Marker Robots to Get More Firepower with Russia’s Latest Upgrade

Russia is planning to equip its ‘tank destroyer’ Marker combat robot with a specialized kamikaze drone named BAS-80 that is designed to be small and compatible with the robot. Yevgeny Dudorov, the executive director of Android Technology, the company that developed the Marker robot, stated that their company had created an aircraft-style drone called BAS-80 during its development stage and tested it without explosives. The objective behind developing this drone was to integrate it with the Marker robot, and the team has already tested it on the platform. Additionally, the BAS-80 drone was designed to function as a kamikaze drone. The Marker robot was jointly developed by Android Technology and the Foundation for Advanced Studies. It weighs approximately three tons and is equipped with advanced autonomous movement capabilities based on artificial intelligence technologies for object recognition. The robot’s autonomy is achieved through a modular multispectral vision system that processes data using neural network algorithms. Russian developers claim that their robotic platform has the most advanced autonomous capabilities for motion in unfamiliar surroundings and identifying objects using artificial intelligence technologies.

According to the latest report, Android Technology experts are developing technologies enabling them to launch the drone with precision, control its movement, and accurately deliver it to the designated target. The BAS-80 drone weighs around 1.7 kilograms without any warhead and has a potential warhead capacity of approximately 600 grams, which could be increased if necessary. The drone has a flight range of up to 30 kilometers and can remain airborne for a maximum of 18 minutes. These drones are lighter and less expensive than those currently used in the Russian military. However, their intended functions are comparatively simpler.

In January 2023, Russia announced that the development of its experimental Marker robot combat vehicle had been finished. 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 could independently determine the priority of targets. For instance, if it detects an armored personnel carrier, a T-64, and some foreign equipment along the line of contact, the robot will automatically select the target that holds the most value and engage it with the appropriate firepower. The Marker comes in two variations. The first version is the “scout” variant, with sensors and a drone designed to assist in scouting activities. The second version is an anti-tank missile-equipped model that can engage the likes of Leopard and Abrams tanks.

The Marker robot was not initially created for warfare, but Russia has already employed these robots to support its operations in Syria and eastern Ukraine. The company is modifying one of its ground robots to specifically target Abrams and Leopard tanks, which are being shipped to Ukraine from the US, Germany, Poland, and other nations. Dmitry Rogozin, former head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, claimed that the electronic catalog in the robot’s control system, which contains pictures of enemy equipment, would allow the Marker to automatically recognize and strike the ‘Abrams,’ ‘Leopard,’ and other vehicles.

The first four Marker robots were sent to Donbas for testing in February this year. If Marker combat robots prove successful on the battlefield, they could potentially impact future military operations and provide a strategic advantage to the Russian forces with their advanced capabilities in detecting and targeting enemy equipment.

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