Ukrainian company launches anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Ukrainian SpetsTechnoExport tries its hand at arming an unmanned ground vehicle, launching its Fantom vehicle with an anti-tank missile system called Barrier.
The “nearly invisible” vehicle with barrier and a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun is designed to confront heavy and light armored targets at a distance of 100 to 5,000 meters, according to a company statement. SpetsTechnoExport is part of the Ukrainian defense company Ukroboronprom.
In addition to Barrier, Fantom is designed to accommodate a variety of different weaponry on a stabilized rotating platform, the company added.
The vehicle can even maneuver on sand thanks to its all-wheel drive hybrid engine, independent suspension and hydraulic braking system. The UGV is also equipped with a secure radio channel.
“The aim of this project is the development of equipment capable of effectively performing different combat missions while minimizing the risk to the lives of military personnel,” said Pavlo Barbul, director of SpetsTechnoExport.
The first Fantom was presented at a 2016 weapons exhibition in Kiev.
While unmanned ground vehicles present many challenges in terms of mobility and range, arming an unmanned vehicle has always brought an additional level of concern for operational safety.
But Ukraine, which has continued to fight Russian incursions in recent years, must move quickly to develop capabilities capable of effectively dealing with threats from Russian tanks and armored vehicles along its border.
Fantom can “carry out fire support to land units, carry out reconnaissance and monitor blockade posts or the border, deliver equipment and ammunition, evacuate the wounded, be the source of energy and participate in demining operations” , the company said. noted.
And Fantom can be paired with other unmanned aerial systems, possibly another response to counter Russia’s hybrid warfare tactics using drones seen on the front lines in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military is demonstrating a multitude of combat vehicles in the role of robotic wingers this year to fuel the development of the military’s planned recording programs for both a semi robotic wingman – stand-alone from 2023 and a stand-alone version that would go live in 2035.
Jen Judson is the Ground War Reporter for Defense News. She covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a journalist for Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club’s Best Analytical Reporting Award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards’ Best Young Defense Journalist in 2018.