Russia is developing a new 4th generation combat armor Sotnik. It claims can resist .50 caliber rounds.
Source: Task & Purpose
State-owned defense giant Rostec announced on Friday that the corporation was leading the charge to develop the fourth generation of its vaunted Sotnik, or ‘Centurion,’ battle armor.
The current third-generation Sotnik suit currently includes the “entirely new personal protective equipment and ammunition, offering light armor defense and increasing the soldier’s armament by several times,” according to the Jamestown Foundation.
“The new generation gear will consist of a fundamentally new set of technology, including the latest achievements of the Russian defense industry, including robotic equipment and integrated systems for exchanging information,” according to Rostec’s Bekkhan Ozdoev. “Today we have started the first stage of development – the definition of tactical and technical requirements.”
While Rostec’s official release was vague regarding the specifics of the new system, Ozdoev had previously stated the fourth-generation Sotnik armor will consist of lightweight polyethylene fiber and armor plating that is engineered to withstand a direct shot from a .50 caliber M2 Browning. “The gear will not restrict movement and will allow you to take the extra weight necessary to perform special missions,” according to Ozdoev.
Indeed, the current third-generation Sotnik gear that Rostec is currently developing is itself intended to replace the high-tech Ratnik, or ‘Warrior,’ combat gear — which has been in development for more than a decade and seen combat within the last five years — by sometime in 2025.
The Ratnik suit, which consists of 10 subsystems and 59 individual components, includes modernized body armor designed to withstand 7.62mm rounds, a helmet with a special eye monitor outfitted with a thermal night vision monocular and flashlight, and integrated communication systems. It “also features a self-contained heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask, and a medical kit,” according to Army Technology.
More than 300,000 sets of the various iterations of the Ratnik combat gear have already been delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense in the last eight years, according to the corporation.
The feasibility of the Sotnik is directly related to the success of the Ratnik, according to Bendett, so far that the ‘integrated systems for exchanging information’ element that Ozdoev highlighted “is also not new and will probably build on” existing tactical systems currently in service.
Some futuristic capabilities actually do appear within arm’s reach. Rostec in September unveiled a specialized exoskeleton for the Ratnik battle suit designed to bear 80 kilograms (176 pounds) for the average soldier and a fresh ‘Stormer’ combat exoskeleton designed to haul 60 kilograms (132 pounds) during assault operations.
The video below is a demonstration of the ‘Stormer’ ou ‘Shturmovik’ exoskeleton.