​All-Terrain Drone for Demining with UR-83P: russian Development Worth Implementing in Ukrainian Forces

UR-83P demining system on a drone, nemaed Chelnok / Still frame credit: Btvt.info
UR-83P demining system on a drone, nemaed Chelnok / Still frame credit: Btvt.info

This unmanned ground vehicle is an interesting vector of R&D which could be of use to both sides in this war

A video report by a russian TV channel about a new military product made by enthusiasts was shared by Btvt.info. They present a drone called Chelnok, it's equipped with an UR-83P system that fires explosive charges to clear minefields, the chassis is one of the all-terrain vehicles usually seen in the northern regions of russia used for geological research and oil exploration. The original vehicle was refitted by replacing the gasoline engine with an electric-powered one, and installing remote control equipment.

Worth noting, the vehicle of choice is quite sizable: with an empty weight (w/o the UR-83P system) of 1.3 tons, it can travel by land at a maximum speed of 50 km/h or cross water obstacles at 6 km/h. According to the presentation, the charge keeps the drone running for up to 6 hours. The operational range, i.e. max control distance, however, is not disclosed.

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Apparently, the prototype in the footage is now even an experimental sample but an attempt to get the potential main customer, the russian Ministry of Defense, interested in this project. The creators claim that the drone is lightweight enough to not trigger anti-tank mines, with good cross-country capability and low noise emission, all factors increasing the chances for this demining system to survive on the battlefield.

Interestingly, this case exemplifies a certain trend in russia where some really interesting projects are initiated "from below," by the lower-ranked military personnel or indie technicians, even if the command shows no interest in these offers.

For Ukrainian forces, though, the idea might be more viable. With an established mechanism for jumpstarting such projects, like the Brave1 or the Ministry of Defense Accelerator working in Ukraine, such a robot could rather quickly find its way to the battlefield. Although it's true that other types of drones are in greater demand, foremostly logistical UGVs or suicide vehicles, mine clearance is an important aspect, too. Especially since demining vehicles need to work closely to the vanguard where the minefields are a problem, and since the Ukrainian demining equipment is a priority target for the russian forces.

Earlier Defense Express showed how modern drone duels are unfolding on Ukrainian frontlines, as a Ukrainian copter-type FPV drone was trying to eliminate the russian grenade-launcher robot.

The "robotized" UR-83P demining system / Still frame credit: Btvt.info
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