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Ukrainian versatile unmanned combat vehicle undergoes frontline testing

The Ukrainian Army is testing the Ironclad unmanned combat robot in live operations. The versatile robotic platform assists forces by storming positions, recon, and fire support at 20km/h speed.
Ironclad unmanned combat ground vehicle. Credit: Mykhailo Fedorov
Ukrainian versatile unmanned combat vehicle undergoes frontline testing

Ukraine’s Army is testing the Ironclad unmanned platform in combat conditions on the frontlines, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov announced in a Facebook post on 21 September.

“This is a revolutionary product from Ukrainian Roboneers engineers that changes the approach to warfare and helps to save the most valuable thing – the lives of our military,” Fedorov said.

Ironclad is a robotic platform assisting Ukraine’s forces in executing missions, including storming positions, reconnaissance, and providing fire support to troops. The machine reaches speeds up to 20 km/h, equipped with a thermal camera, Shablya M2 turret, and armored plating to protect against small arms fire. Ironclad can be remotely operated from a safe location.

“More technologies and innovations are on the way,” Fedorov added.

The system was developed and manufactured by Roboneers company. Roboneers is a company of four teams of engineers, electronic engineers, ex-military and IT specialists have been developing UAVs, remote control modules, software and situational awareness programs, and remotely controlled platforms.

The Brave1 cluster sponsors the manufacturing of the robot. Brave1 is a united coordinational platform created by the Government of Ukraine to promote collaboration between all stakeholders of the defense tech industry by providing them with organizational, informational, and financial support for defense tech projects in Ukraine

The first prototype was created in 2018 with a different exterior design. The current version has larger wheels, a rounded body, a combat module, and cargo space. Fedorov called Ironclad a “revolutionary product” from Ukrainian engineers Roboneers, radically changing warfare tactics and helping preserve soldiers’ lives.

Ironclad first version. Credit: Roboneers

In June 2021, the ground robot was displayed at the Arms and Security exhibit. Developers emphasized Ironclad was made for extreme conditions, with a Shablya remote weapon system to mount various machine guns. It could work autonomously or integrate with other systems.

Credit: Roboneers

In January 2022, Roboneers showed Ironclad modifications for the Ukrainian military, describing it as a versatile tool for logistic and combat tasks when equipped with a weapon module and remotely operated.

Credit: Roboneers

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