11/15/2017 / By Frances Bloomfield
As Russia continues to beef up its military prowess, the country appears ready to outfit its infantry with futuristic super suits — specifically, futuristic super suits that will allow foot soldiers to walk through explosions unscathed.
Such is what was shown in a newly released video. In it, a man dressed head-to-toe in a combat suit can be seen stepping across a grassy field as he’s assailed by landmine explosions and searing flames. The man appears to be uninjured, and his suit shows little sign of damage.
According to the DailyMail.co.uk, the “Superman suit” is a part of Ratnik, a Russian infantry combat system designed to improve the efficacy and connectivity of warfare personnel. Those involved with the program accomplished this by developing combat gear like thermal and night vision monoculars and, of course, the Superman suit.
The suit itself is said to be made of aramid or aromatic polyamide, a man-made, high-performance material characterized by its high strength, excellent resistance, and low flammability. The use of aramid has made it so that the suit can withstand over half a minute of direct contact with fire. Though the shock of landmine blasts can harm wearers of the suit, it still offers protection from the heat of grenade explosions.
The heatproof suit is expected to be ready for use by the year 2020, though Russia has gone on record to state that the suit was utilized in combat in 2016. No other details beyond this were given.
What is known, however, is that the unveiling of the suit comes hot on the heels of the country’s latest military training exercises. Experts believe that these exercises, conducted on both land and sea, are demonstrations of strength by President Vladimir Putin — which may indeed be the case. (Related: WWIII could be fought with robotic exoskeletons; Russia, US compete to develop military exoskeletons.)
Just last month, the Russian military showed off the Ratnik-3, an all-black suit that came kitted with an impressive array of features. Developed by the Russian state-owned Rostec, the Ratnik-3’s features included a stamina- and strength-boosting exoskeleton, the latest in bulletproof armor, a full-face visor and helmet equipped with a heads-up display (HUD), and a watch capable of enduring a nuclear blast.
Rostec furnished the Ratnik-3 with 59 items in all. Yet according to Colonel General Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, the total weight of the gear was reduced by 30 percent.
Salyukov further added: “The implementation of the project will allow [us] to increase the performance of a soldier by 1.5 times in completing various tasks.”
In addition to having five integrated systems — which include life support, protection, command and communication, protection, and energy saving subsystems — the suit was designed for round-the-clock use under all weather conditions.
“The level of technology and the reliability of the elements of servicemen’s outfit is growing,” said Sergey Abramov, Industrial Director for Rostec’s Armament Cluster Division. “Correspondingly, the level of a soldier’s capabilities on the battlefield is increasing. This new development by Central Scientific Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering is another step in this direction.”
Similar to the fireproof suit, Russia is expected to roll out the Ratnik-3 for use in 2020. Though even with all of this new technology coming out to improve upon the country’s infantry, some believe that the future of their military lies in robotics.
“I see a greater robotization, in fact, future warfare will involve operators and machines, not soldiers shooting at each other on the battlefield,” said Lieutenant General Andrey Grigoriev.
Whichever direction the country takes, it’s best to keep a careful and wary eye on Russia.
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