A concept for an advanced suit of powered personal armor was unveiled late last month at the Moscow Prototyping Center, sporting hexagonal modular armor panels, full face helmet with mocked up information display, and a bullpup rifle. The suit, revealed to the internet via a YouTube video from Russian government funded RT-subsidiary Ruptly, was more conceptual mockup than prototype, evidenced by its engraved polymer “display” insert, stylized armor, and non-functional gun and mechanism. The Ruptly video is embedded below:
Soldiers of the future may indeed have helmet-mounted displays (HMDs), but it is unlikely that will be achieved via an engraved plastic insert glued directly to the helmet.
The reveal sent Western news agencies into a characteristic frenzy over the idea of “Putin’s 21st Century warriors” facing off in powered armor against allied forces in Western Europe, but it’s unlikely that Russian troops will be wearing such sophisticated gear anytime soon. The Russian Army’s “Ratnik” program, currently in development, would substantially augment the capability of the individual Russian soldier, but largely in a way that closes the gap the United States has enjoyed versus its Russian counterparts over the past decade and a half or so. While the Ratnik program includes some very impressive equipment indeed – such as a lightweight helmet, improved camouflage, upgraded weapons, and integrated comms gear – it will be quite some time before Russian Army soldiers will be “on the bounce” with advanced powered armor.
Thanks to Retiv for the tip!