The intersection of green technology and the military often results in the use of clean energy and energy efficiency in field operations. Hybrid vehicles and the like are increasingly coming into play as well, which we’ve seen in the United States in the form of an armored personnel carrier (APC), successor to the Humvee and some other design ideas. Now Russia looks to be getting into the game via a recently unveiled hybrid APC that reportedly could be controlled remotely in the future (or act on its own) and serve as an energy weapon platform.
Russia’s Military-Industrial Company (such the Cold War name, huh?), according to Ria Novosti, are the ones who designed the hybrid APC. It is based upon the BTR-90 Rostok, an 8×8 wheeled vehicle built in the early 1990s. This latest version, dubbed Krymsk,
can move silently on a battery-driven electric motor when its diesel engine is turned off. Currently, it can only move short distances on electric power, but new types of batteries can increase the distances by “dozens of times.” During tests the Krymsk moved at a maximum speed of 97 kilometers per hour (60 mph), accelerating to 80 kilometers per hour in 33 seconds. The Krymsk is a remotely controlled platform and can be equipped with weapon systems, including future laser or electromagnetic weapons.
Krymsk was recently tested on a Cuban airfield runway, according to its manufacturer, and had surprisingly good results for a vehicle weighing 22 tons. Besides hitting the benchmark speeds mentioned above, it reportedly easily climbed a trench and hauled an attached armored vehicle via a tow hitch on a dirt road.
The hybrid design of this Russian APC is much like that of what one sees in a civilian vehicle like the Prius. In addition to being able to move short distances on electric power only, braking energy captured during driving through regenerative braking can be returned to the vehicle to help recharge the battery pack.
Interestingly, the overall range of this vehicle (versus electric only) is said to be 940 km (584 miles) if it is traveling at a speed of 40 km/h (24.85 MPH). This is noted as being one and a half times more than a previous prototype. Given also that it can move virtually silently via the electric motor for what will likely be longer distances as energy storage technologies improve, it is envisioned an APC like this could be helpful in covert movements during special operations.
The remote control portion of this futuristic platform holds some fascinating, if scary, prospects. As the Military Industrial Company spells out, hardware capabilities of the on-board electronics systems allow the vehicle to be entirely controlled from a distant place. And, with development of the “appropriate control algorithms and software,” the APC would be able to operate via robotic controls. Add to this the fact it could be armed with energy weapons, and we are rapidly approaching Terminator level technology!
There was no mention of when this Russian green killing machine, or technology developed from this prototype, might actually be put into service.