The first batch of Marker combat robots arrived in Ukraine days after Russian former space boss Dmitry Rogozin wrote on his Telegram Channel that the combat robot would undergo a “baptism of fire” on the battlefields in Eastern Ukraine.
On February 2, former Roscosmos Chief and head of the special military advisory group “Tsar’s Wolves,” Dmitry Rogozin, announced on his Telegram channel that four Marker robotic platforms have arrived in the Donbas region in the eastern Ukraine district.
The Marker is an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which resembles a tank in appearance, if not in weapons. It also features a tracked platform like a tank that could be equipped with an array of sensors and weapons. Among these are a drone-launching casing and a turret with machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
Rogozin also said that experts have begun testing algorithms for conducting warfare within a group of combat robots. Last month, Rogozin made a statement announcing that Marker combat robots would undergo testing in the special military operation in Ukraine.
“The first four Marker robots have arrived in the region strictly on schedule. We begin downloading target images and testing algorithms of warfare within a unit of combat robots and installing powerful anti-tank armament,” Rogozin said.
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Earlier, Rogozin said a shock variant of the Russian Marker robot would be deployed in Ukraine in February to obliterate the Western tanks pledged by NATO countries.
After weeks of diplomatic dilly-dallying, the United States and Germany announced on January 25 that they would deliver Abrams and Leopard-2 tanks, respectively.
Since the announcement, Russian officials have encouraged their troops to obliterate these tanks. For example, Russian companies have reportedly stated that soldiers who destroy an American Abrams tank will be rewarded with millions of dollars.
Against that backdrop, the Marker combat robots have been projected as advanced Russian machines that will effectively take out Western tanks.
Rogozin stated that the computerized database of images would enable the Marker to automatically identify and target Ukrainian weaponry, such as American Abrams tanks and German Leopards.
“The combat version of the Marker robot has an electronic catalog in the control system with images of targets both in the visible range and in the infrared. Accordingly, the robot can automatically determine the enemy’s equipment,” Rogozin said.
“As soon as deliveries of the Abrams and Leopard tanks to the Ukrainian troops begin, Marker will receive an appropriate electronic image and be able to detect and hit American and German tanks with ATGMs automatically,” he said.
These state-of-the-art NATO tanks will not be deployed by Ukraine immediately as the Ukrainian troops are required to undergo training to operate these cutting-edge war machines. This essentially means that the Marker combat robot will be tested for other purposes and evaluated by experts.
What Are Marker Combat Robots?
Marker was developed by the “Android Technique” company in collaboration with the Advanced Research Foundation. Its weight exceeds three tons, and the system reportedly has Russia’s most advanced object identification and autonomous movement systems.
Russia revealed last month that its experimental Marker robot combat vehicle’s development was complete. Notably, the robot was created as a robotized platform for testing the most cutting-edge technologies for second-generation combat robots, which are still in the concept development stage.
The Marker combat robot is equipped with a suspended unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and cutting-edge weapons and can explore any terrain independently. The independence of the platform is guaranteed by a modular multispectral vision system that processes data using neural network methods.
Rogozin previously explained that the robot could also autonomously prioritize targets. He said, “Let’s say it spotted a T-64, an armored personnel carrier, and some foreign equipment on the line of contact. The robot will independently select a target according to priority based on which of them is the most significant – and hit it with the appropriate firepower.”
The Marker combat module can swivel 540 degrees in just one second. Various anti-tank missile systems, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and other weaponry can be installed on the module.
Rogozin emphasized that there are two variations of Marker. The scout with sensors and a drone is intended to serve as a helpful spotter. He advertised the other anti-tank missiles armed model as a counter to Leopard and Abrams tanks.
It’s important to note that the Marker robot was never meant for battle. However, Russia has already put several new robots to work supporting its operations in eastern Ukraine and Syria. The Marker may surpass the capabilities of the robots deployed in the past if it can battle it out with the Western tanks.