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Russian future combat suit accessories now include nuclear explosion-resistant wristwatch

19 October 2017

Back in June, a division of the Russian state corporation Rostec introduced its ‘Ratnik’ future combat suit complete with armoured digital helmet with information screen and face protection mask, bulletproof neck protector, light titanium exoskeleton, flexible body armour and protective footgear. In October it also introduced a mechanical watch designed to withstand the electronic pulses of a nuclear blast.

The Ratnik suit and nuclear-proof watch - Image: Rostec
The Ratnik suit and nuclear-proof watch - Image: Rostec

The Rostec division, TSNIITOCHMASH (the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building), said the self-winding watch weighs about 100 grammes.  

"If a soldier is exposed to the electromagnetic emissions of a nuclear bomb, the watch will continue to operate without any interruption," said Oleg Faustov, a chief designer of tactical life support systems at Rostec. He did not say whether any other gear in the Ratnik combat kit is impervious to the effects of a nuclear explosion, however.

Five integrated systems incorporating 59 items — including weapons and devices for protection, communication and optical enhancement — make up the Ratnik kit, which can operate under any type of weather conditions and may be used around the clock, the Russian news agency TASS reported.

A more advanced version of the combat gear, called Ratnik-3, is expected to be unveiled in 2020 and will include a sophisticated suite of operating networks built into a titanium frame, Rostec representatives said on September 29. This so-called "combat suit of the future" will be about 30 percent lighter than the current Ratnik kit, and it will incorporate a jointed exoskeleton with devices for controlling the suit's microclimate and monitoring the wearer's health, along with a digital display system for a helmet face shield or goggles, according to TASS.

Rostec State Corporation was established in 2007 to facilitate the development, production and export of high-tech industrial products designed for civilian and military applications. The Corporation comprises over 700 organisations that are currently part of 11 holding companies operating in the military-industrial complex and 3 holding companies working in civilian industry, as well as 80 directly managed organisations.

Rostec's portfolio includes well-known brands such as AVTOVAZ, KAMAZ, Kalashnikov Concern, Russian Helicopters, VSMPO AVISMA, UralVagonZavod, amongst others. Rostec companies are located in 60 constituent entities of the Russian Federation and supply products to more than 70 countries. In 2016, the consolidated revenue of Rostec amounted to 1,266 billion rubles ($22.7 bn).

According to Rostec, the main objective of the Corporation is to ensure that Russia has a technological advantage in highly competitive global markets. Its key objectives include “the introduction of a new techno-economic paradigm” and the digitalisation of the Russian economy.

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