[ARMY-2017] Update: Russian Ratnik-3 Equipment

During the ARMY-2017 arms exhibition, the Ratnik-3 “future soldier” concept was demonstrated again. This time Russian companies’ officials who develop the project revealed more details concerning Ratnik-3.

The helmet of Ratnik-3 will be equipped with an advanced aiming system. It will automatically calculate the distance to the target as well as all the variables like the wind speed and direction, the temperature of air etc. Having the projectile ballistics data, it will calculate the point of aim. So all the soldier will have to do is to match the point of aim with the target and pull the trigger. It will also have a “corner shooting” possibility allowing to shoot from cover without exposing the shooter himself.

Besides providing protection for eyes and ears, the helmet will also have a built in gas mask. In case of hazardous elements detected in the air, it will automatically activate the gas mask. The helmet will allow the soldier to control various unmanned vehicles in the field as well as receive and send data to other soldiers and command centers. It will also continuously collect data concerning soldier’s health status and will be able to electrically stimulate the soldier’s brain if needed.

One of the officials said that the body armor will be able to withstand more than ten hits of different bullets. Well, this statement makes more questions than gives answers. What caliber and type of bullets it is rated for? Is it better than existing types of armors and levels of protection?

The Ratnik-3 suit will be covered with a special compound which will be able to change its color depending on the background thus becoming an active camouflage.

The exoskeleton will be one of the most important features of the Ratnik-3, too.

The weapon system will be a combination of an assault rifle and grenade launcher. The grenades will be self-guiding “fire-and-forget” type. Unfortunately, there are no details concerning the weapon itself. In one of the images, it is fed by linked, telescoped and polymer-cased ammunition.

The final appearance of the Ratnik-3 will be shown by the end of this year. It will probably be issued in 15 to 20 years.

Many of the described features sound to be from science fiction genre, but these are exactly what was described in the following sources:


Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at TFBHrachyaH@gmail.com


  • Brett baker

    How much are our defense contractors paying the Russians to say they are developing this stuff, so we have to buy the same? And frankly, the Ratnik needs bounce capacity.

    • PK
      • robocop33


    • Amplified Heat

      I’m convinced that it’s DARPA; they have the means, motive, and secrecy to get away with it. They do some brainstorming & a feasibility study for some nifty idea out of a Halo game or Iron Man 11 movie, discover it’s retardedly expensive & likely impossible (which is perfect since it means they aren’t burdened with the possibility of success ending the development cycle), and forward the concept ideas to Russian intel so they can make a counter-slideshow of their own & secure funding for the DARPA boys to ‘complete’ the project. Everyone involved from egghead to politician in both nations knowing full well the idea can’t go anywhere and is just a means to continued employment and project funding.

      Also, that passive exoskeleton (i.e. a fancy weight belt) isn’t going to be much help when you trip & fall, have to hit the deck, or need to duck & cover or run quickly. Mass is mass, force requires power, and humans just don’t put out all that much at the end of the day. It just kills me that a billion dollar exosuit program is considered superior to hiring more recruits to carry gear around.

      • NanoSuitUser059 .

        “humans just don’t put out all that much at the end of the day”
        Especially not on the first date 😛
        No but in all seriousness I could see this being viable for Special Forces but not your everyday soldier. Is it a waste? Probably. But is it a cool idea that will probably be viable in 3 decades? Yep.

      • Ryfyle

        It sounds like you could replicate the “passive Exoskeleton” with a bunch of joint braces and a lumbar support.

  • Rasputin

    I like this new trend. Making war increasingly expensive. What a future large scale war is going to boil down to, is guerilla and asymmetric tactics. After all this fancy gear has gone up against each other.

    • forrest1985

      I imagine smaller countries will only be able to afford a squad or section size units of these exo suit type troops, making warfare on a smaller scale.

      • Samuel Millwright

        You imagine wrong…

        Historically too poor to go to war has basically NOT ONCE stopped a war as a slogan…



        yeah, pretty much every war ever except the stupid ones…

        • forrest1985

          Errrr you missed the point! If Russia somehow pull this off, China and US won’t be far behind. But smaller countries won’t be able to affors these systems in large numbers. No where did I say poorer countries wouldn’t go to war just they wouldn’t be able to field these “Ratnik” “future soldiers”

          • Samuel Millwright

            They can’t afford any of the other fun toys either, has not and never will stop a determined foe from hanging and banging with the big kids.

          • Samuel Millwright

            P.s. what do you mean US won’t be far behind BTW?

            You do know we’re leading this area right now right?

          • Amplified Heat

            Duh, how else would the Russians come up with this idea? And how else would our boys justify the expense of developing this stuff for a neo-Soviet enemy but for them to be pursuing the same thing? Missile gap!

          • Samuel Millwright

            Exo gaps for everyone?

          • The Brigadier

            We now have ALON that a1.62″ thick plate can stop a .50 BMG round. A chemist at UT El Paso discovered how to make graphene for only 8 cents an ounce making it from used motor oil compared to $200 an ounce making it from graphite. Its 22 1/2 times harder than our hardest tool steel. Technology keeps finding ways to make stuff incredibly strong and much cheaper. Both of these materials are cheap enough to protect every grunt.

            The Air Force is also very close to anti-grav vehicles, and made out of these new armor materials combined with the Navy’s new rail guns powered by Howard Johnson’s permanent magnet motors, we can absolutely take out all of our enemies. With anti-grav, we can mount them on tanks, missile cruisers and anything else we want to fly and fill the skies with flying death. The material sciences, all of them, are doubling their knowledge every four months. What comes out every month is staggering in its capability.

    • Major Tom

      Historically speaking, every time war has been made “more expensive”, it’s done little if anything to stop it or steer it in any direction other than more destructive.

      The Gatling gun, breech-loading artillery, the Dreadnought, the aircraft carrier, the jet, the helicopter, the assault rifle, the nuclear warhead and more, all making war more expensive one way or another but failing to halt war outright. In some cases like the Dreadnought, outright sparking an arms race that made the world more dangerous.

      • Samuel Millwright

        I broke it down into slogans for them in case your post was too high information content for them

      • Amplified Heat

        Yet somehow consistently safer for our soldiers by every conceivable measure. Also safer for civilians, since we fear no draft or even resource shortages despite incredibly massive foreign campaigns, and are entirely removed from the conflict to the extent we care to be.

    • Brett baker

      You also think Ratnik won’t be grenade-proof, like me? Personally, I see these suits having a hard time against opponents equipped with a lot of grenade launchers.

      • Major Tom

        Forget grenade launchers. RPG’s, the Russian can opener. No powered armor system would withstand a hit by even the ancient RPG-2 let alone a 7 or 29 or 33.

        • Jeremy

          If people can reliably hit man size targets in the heat of combat with RPGs, we wouldn’t bother equipping soldiers with rifles, armor, etc.

          • iksnilol

            Ambush with a couple of RPGs, start the ambush with them, and then use rifles to cover whilst scooting away. You’re guaranteed to kill a soldier or two whilst damaging the rest of the soldiers (thus incapacitating them).


          • The Brigadier

            I agree. RPGs are very effective against vehicles however, and those nasty things are the bane of the world.

        • Brett baker

          Rocket-Propelled anti-tank Grenade launcher. I was too lazy to write the Russian.

        • Amplified Heat

          I suspect a cloud of abrasive powder would be enough to destroy these things, forget the effects of shrapnel on machinery. Heck, the powder would not only immobilize the metal joints, but cause such severe chafing that much of the tight-fitting armor elements would be abandoned, too.

          • The Brigadier

            3M developed a film about twenty years ago that when a current is applied to it, it hardens and it can withstand a 20 millimeter shell hitting it. Sufficient power to keep it hardened all the time was the rub just like powered armor and that is why SOCOM doesn’t use it.

          • Amplified Heat

            It’s called piezo-electric polymer-ceramic…and sure it could do that. In reality, the stuff can generate an unusably small voltage when flexed, and play music when hooked up to a speaker wire…and that’s about it. It’s about as strong as plastic or ceramic, depending on the specific material. Apply lots of power, and it burns like any resistive compound. It made for a slick way to alter the intake geometry on, I want to say some F15 prototypes, though. I had a prof who was working toward the goal of developing an insole that could power a cell phone with this tech.

      • The Brigadier

        Yeah and when you fire it you can shout, “Take that you dirty ratnik!” James Cagney would have been right at home.

  • Gus Butts

    I don’t know why but I was smiling the whole time I read this.

    • PK

      Probably because expecting to field something like this, given present tech limitations, is a hilarious thought! “Wildly optimistic” doesn’t quite cover it.

      • Iggy

        I’m sure the Russian’s are going to succeed in making it work, and the three suits the army is able to afford at the end of it will enjoy great success.

        • Amplified Heat

          And a single Ukrainian crop-duster laden with paint will disable them completely

          • Iggy

            And it would be glorious. Honestly though, on the paint thing, I’m genuine curious if you could disable a modern tank with a few clay pots filled with paint. I’m not sure on a safe delivery method, but if you were able to spatter paint over the optics and had a couple of guys with LMG’s to cover the hatches and pin down accompanying infantry and you’d be in a pretty good place tactically.

      • Bradley

        I don’t think anyone is claiming present feasibility. The 15-20 year time frame, while probably just a wild guess, indicates to me that it’s just concept design that future tech could be applied to.

  • LittleGreenMen

    The part of “stimulating the brain” is the EXACT thing they made heavy propaganda against the US working on something similar. You should have seen the RT comment section…. pure cancer and conspiracy theories.
    What an incredible hypocrisy.

    • Amplified Heat

      My thought was shock therapy, like, they zap the consripts for not obeying orders or something, lol. Also, we’ve had this ‘technology’ in the form of amphetamines for decades; I doubt this new ‘stimulation’ is any more effective, or any less destructive in the long term

  • Alex Agius

    Get out of here S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

  • GhostTrain81

    Cover me Sergei, I need to hack this voting machine. * (types on holographic wrist computer) beep beep boop boop beep beep *.

  • john huscio

    Wonder when these get deployed for missions “around the world….” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0703591f56e1535add945620c9ffc862c5fab4c1427c71b533249b05c712c810.jpg

  • LazyReader

    Russian military paying for cosplay, no different than the US Soldier 2025, Objective Force warrior……….while the concept artists are having a field day drawing as many grooves and lines as possible, the future is weighing down soldiers with plastic. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd6d4c1271b7a8fbf4da0234dffb0efe2702804882f109fe5c3cd56189cba7bb.png

    • iksnilol

      If the exo skeleton is powered then it won’t be weighing them down as much as you think.

      • LazyReader

        With what…..a tactical extension cord? So far present technology regarding powered exoarmor means either plug it in to the wall, mechanical engine with a huge fuel supply or lots and lots of batteries……
        Until we figure out how to squeeze 3 gigajoules out of our chest……….we’re still in a bind. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1363101f18c1f30cf8b6ec5da7eb3c643870716b885ea313c444691e9fe1d904.gif

        • Amplified Heat

          Even then, not even Tony Stark bothered to hand-wave the obvious heat dissipation issues. Even a theoretically perfect Carnot cycle engine puts off a good deal of heat as it does its thing, and that’s plenty enough for a 1kW or whatever power supply moving a guy & his gear around to generate a dangerous amount of heat. Best case scenario you have guys with a glowing infra-red exhaust plume overhead all the time, worst is they all have go-kart engines buzzing away or fuel cells catching on fire every so often. And just like in Fallout, one good hit to that super-dense power supply will release its energy & destroy the mechanism in dramatic fashion.

          • The Brigadier

            Or small permanent magnet motors powering a AC generator. No fuel to carry and it could fit in an ALON box backpack. Probably weigh fifteen pounds, but with powered armor it will be easy to carry around. This stuff is all on the drawing board and it will come sooner than later.

    • Brett baker

      Why does the female have a codpiece?

      • The Brigadier

        To protect her vibrator. Relaxed troops are happy troops.

  • Isaac O. Lees

    Looks like Putin was playing a little too much Deus Ex.

    But seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t realize this is obvious propaganda? We’re talking about the country that couldn’t keep stray dogs out of the hotels during the Olympic games.

    • The Brigadier

      I just bought that sucky game on Steam. What a waste of $4.99.

      • LGonDISQUS

        Deus ex from ?2013? was amazing though. Very intuitive stealth and combat system.

        • The Brigadier

          Mine was from 2007. Steam said they were remastering it. I just purchased it ten days ago with that announcement.

  • iksnilol

    I don’t hear y’all calling my grenade rifle for every trooper suggestion for “ridicilous” now.

    • ostiariusalpha

      That’s because it’s spelled R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.

      • iksnilol

        Third language, I’m excused, suckers!

    • Amplified Heat

      Even their belt-fed super-pooper grenade gun only seems to have a dozen or so rounds, here. That belt hanging off is still bulky, but I don’t see a giant ammo can on his back.

      • iksnilol

        Doubt the ammo hangs like that. You can see the lid and hinge behind the ammo belt. Reminds me a bit of rhe G11 LMG (it too had a hinged compartment in the back to load it).

        Grenade launcher looks to be mag fed and pump action which isn’t a stretch for the Russians.

  • dfx

    Its seems more prop than functional tech, energy transfer parts? Where they are?
    I like those tech ” cold wars” but Russia, camoon.

    • Amplified Heat

      It’s always sad when you outmatch the opponent but have to keep up the Don King routine to promote the Fight of the Century for funding

  • raz-0

    50% bullshit, 50% duh, of course.

    Everyone wants a fancy HUD and comms, the technology is there to give it to them, and it will likely happen. What won’t happen is all the integrated weapons stuff with full ballistic solutions and fire and forget stuff. That’ll have to be integrated after such systems actually exist. There’s no reason to wait on them either.

    Everyone wants power armor. Everyone is much more likely to deploy passive exoskeletons at some point in the relatively near future unless they find a good way to turn the human spine into a field serviceable replacement part.

    Everyone seems to think they have figured out how to defeat class IV hard armor. Which means the search is on for the next best thing in armor. SO duh.. yeah everyone will be working on this. Stronger is probably easier to achieve than lighter, hence the passive exoskeleton thing.

    The smart grenade launcher… yeah, let me know when it exists. Every military has been working on one for way too long now, and I suspect the question is more a “why” than a “how” at this point.

    Magic fabric – good luck with that. but you have to say you are working on it, because everyone does. I doubt you wil ever have anything that can play “predator” from every angle, but something that you cna press a button and get a pattern and color that is environment appropriate is likely possible. THe question is will it still be any good at the other functions a uniform provides. But I can see it moving from a “how” to a “why” issue in the next 10-15 years.

    Telescoping ammunition – likely to go from a “how” to a “why” extremely soon. Unless it solves some huge logistics problem at a higher level, while it can save weight for the soldier, it’s not looking to be that much weight at this point, if not an overall weight gain.

    • Bert

      I don’t know about the magic fabric, it seems BS when taken at face value (like you said). I suspect the “active camouflage” is supposed to be the triangles and hexagons adorning the kit. I assume they are stand ins for small smart-glass like tiles with a base pattern and perhaps a color or two which are activated by a micro-controller. More feasible, but still expensive, and still begs the question, “why?”

      That’s what I would the requirement came up, but like you said, how is that better than a standard uniform?

      • raz-0

        Well we have a ton of people working on the “invisibility cloak” stype of idea. What they have come up with to date indicates that it is unlikely to be doable in any useful way for a uniform.

        Then you have the drive for the “one true camo”, which isn’t going to happen, but you could potentially do layered e-paper like elements so give you reconfigurable camo in one uniform. But then you run into issues like.. will it weigh 3lbs or 30lbs, will it be flexible and durable, will it be able to have pockets, can you launder it, will it par-boil your soldier in their own sweat if it is over 72F outside, will it need 72lbs of batteries?

        • Bert

          Absolutely. We are on the same page.

        • The Brigadier

          They showed one about two years ago and it some environments it actually was amazing, but it didn’t work in all environments.

          • raz-0

            one which? reconfigurable camo or an invisibility cloak type of deal?

  • int19h

    I started laughing out loud when I saw the hexagons and the triangles.

    Someone’s been playing too much Crysis and/or Deus Ex.

    [in Crysis suit voice] “… maximum… bullshit!”

  • jcitizen

    Looks like the old battle field 2000 concept from back in the ’90s.

    • The Brigadier

      Yeah and with the batteries the whole thing weighed over 35 pounds. That didn’t leave much for your weapon, armor, ammo, water and rations. The heads up display was pretty cool, but everything else was simply too heavy.

  • Young Freud

    The “10 hits” comment is pretty suspect. Especially considering that one of the standards for National Institute of Justice testing is shooting the ballistic panels and inserts of body armor 6 times. I think even SAPI and XSAPI plates are rated for 6 solid hits from 7.62mm NATO.

  • Phil Hsueh

    That armor looks like something that somebody made for ComicCon in their garage using EVA foam mats.