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Strengths of Ukrainian Combat Robots and Does russia Have Advantages: Developer's Perspective

Ukrainian Ratel robotic platform / illustrative photo
Ukrainian Ratel robotic platform / illustrative photo

The russians are also working on equipping their forces with unmanned ground platforms, presenting new developments in this area

Earlier this month, the newest branch of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Unmanned Systems Forces, was officially introduced in Kyiv, making Ukraine the first country with such a structure. According to First Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, this new branch will enable strikes as far as the Urals and will integrate robotic and unmanned systems for operations in the air, on land, and at sea.

At the same time, it is important to remember that the enemy is also working in this direction, particularly creating new models of unmanned ground robotic platforms. Defense Express discussed this with Taras Ostapchuk, the head of a Ukrainian company that manufactures the Ratel series of combat robots.

Read more: ​What Characteristics Has Ratel Ukrainian Combat Robot that Controlled Via Starlink?

He notes that over the past two to three months, the range of robotic platforms used by the russian occupying forces on the battlefield has increased.

"Their robots are less advanced than ours, but they will certainly be more numerous. They have more money and will have many more robots. History is repeating itself, as it did with FPV," Ostapchuk emphasizes.

When asked if the enemy could gain anything significant from the recently captured THeMIS platform by Milrem Robotics, he noted the following: "In my opinion, no, because they will only be able to take the structure. They won't extract the software, which, along with the communication system, is the main issue. They don't have access to these like NATO and European countries do. It will definitely have something primitive from China."

Ostapchuk emphasizes that his company actively and systematically collaborates with the military, conducting training sessions that have been completed by approximately 60 operators to date. Additionally, various manufacturers of robotic platforms exchange ideas and materials to enhance processes, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

He also emphasizes the importance of having separate units that are already being created within the Unmanned Systems Forces: "We have operational combat robots that require dedicated units to be established for them. Additionally, separate units will be necessary to distinguish the work of sappers, which will be operational. Traditional mine clearance is different from robotic mine clearance. Therefore, units are necessary, they need training, and this will significantly reduce the workload on soldiers and save lives."

Earlier, Defense Express reported on the record distance achieved by the Ukrainian combat robot Ratel, which can operate using Starlink.

Read more: Ukraine Presents Versatile ARK-1 Robot that Offers a Multifaceted Defense Solution