Russian Military to get Unmanned Trucks

  • It is already known that Kamaz will not have a cab, and will be equipped with an electric motor.
  • The truck has front and rear lighting, bumpers with platforms for registration plates, and ventilation grilles in the body.
  • The Russian military will use them in the Far North and Far East to navigate difficult terrain and road conditions.

The Russian army will have unmanned vehicles in service by next year. The vehicles are made by legendary Soviet auto maker, Kamaz. The new self driving military trucks are currently going through final testing in the Arctic. According to Kamaz representatives, the new model has shown successful performance results.

The Soviet leaders mandated the creation of the Kamaz automaker in 1967. The first Kamaz truck was produced in 1968. During Kamaz’s 50 year history, close to 2.3 million trucks and 2.7 engines were produced on the famous factory.  In 2018, Daimler Chrysler built an additional hangar to produce frames for the buses. Such venture is geared for the exports to the Western markets.

Kamaz is a Russian brand of trucks and engines manufacturer located in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan. It is famous for its cab over trucks. KAMAZ is a portmanteau which stands for a factory on the Kama River.

It is already known that Kamaz will not have a cab, and will be equipped with an electric motor, although the company does not yet provide technical details. The car looks like a two-axle trailer with a low clearance. Most likely, the possibility of remote control and management of such drones will be implemented.

The truck has front and rear lighting, bumpers with platforms for registration plates, and ventilation grilles in the body. The truck is also  equipped with lidar, radar and positioning systems from Continental, Quanergy, and Trimble.

Lidar is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target. It has terrestrial, airborne, and mobile applications.

The first phase of testing has been completed this spring. The results proved the need for such trucks in the Russian military arsenal. Next year, they will be delivered to the Northern regions of Russia. The Russian military will use them in the Far North and Far East to navigate difficult terrain and road conditions. The testing was under Russian Lieutenant General Andrey Toporov.

At the final phase, they are being tested at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field. Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye field is located in the Tazovsky district of YANAO, 340 km North of Novy Urengoy. This is the northernmost onshore oil field in Russia that is being developed. The launch into commercial operation took place on September 21, 2016.

Gazprom Neft is the third largest oil producer in Russia and ranked third according to refining throughput. It is a subsidiary of Gazprom, which owns about 96% of its shares.

The testing included driving on the territory of an autonomous oil field and winter roads through the Gydan tundra with a total length of more than 2.5 thousand km. Gazprom Neft noted that unmanned Kamaz trucks are 50% safer, and allow for 10-15% reduction in freight transportation costs.

Unlike human-controlled vehicles, UAVs do not get tired or make mistakes, even on difficult routes, in conditions of low temperatures, snowstorms and poor visibility. The patent RU (12) 118651  for the unmanned Kamaz has been regsitered in the February of this year.

Gazprom Neft, is the third largest oil producer in Russia and ranked third according to refining throughput. It is a subsidiary of Gazprom, which owns about 96% of its shares.

There is also testing that was conducted this week in St. Petesburg. The testing was used in the dense areas, if such vehicles needed to be used in the highly populated war zones. Russia continues to implement new technologies in its army modernization.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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