- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Russian Defense Ministry is designing and building new combat equipment for the average soldier, which includes an exoskeleton and ‘active protection’ measures.

The third generation of Ratnik combat gear may appear by 2022, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, reported Russian state news agency TASS.  

“The Ratnik kit comprises five integrated systems that include life support, command and communication, engaging, protection and energy saving subsystems. It is designed to be used round-the-clock in all weather conditions.  The Ratnik comprises a total of 59 items including various bulletproof vests and protective helmets, a combat one-piece garment, a headset with active protection, protective glasses, a grenade launcher, assault rifles, sniper rifles, munition, a combat knife, round-the-clock reconnaissance devices and unified optical and thermal imaging sights,” wrote TASS.  

“[The kit will] use exoskeleton mechanisms, a display system to show information on faceshield or protective glasses and microclimate control and health monitoring devices.”

Militaries around the world are racing to make the combat soldier on the battlefield more effective and productive.  Simply put, this type of “Iron Man” gear is a force multiplier.  

The Russian Federation has had success over the last decade increasing the number of ‘contract soldiers’ and lowering dependence on conscripts.  The improved ability to operate in a sustained combat environment is showing itself in Syria, where the Russian armed force’s ability to prosecute large, coordinated operations have impressed Western military leaders.

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