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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Russia Continues Equipping its Soldiers with ‘Ratnik’ Combat Gear

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(Photo : Russian Ground Forces) Russian soldiers wearing Ratnik combat gear.

The Ground Forces of the Russian Federation this year will receive 50,000 more "Ratnik" infantry combat system kits that has seem combat in Syria.

Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, said his troops will be equipped with the Ratnik-2 version of the personal combat uniform kits adopted by the ground forces in 2014.

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"In 2017, the Russian armed forces plan to purchase 50,000 second-generation Ratnik gear kits for servicemen of the Land Force, Airborne Troops and the marines of the Russian Navy," said Gen. Salyukov yesterday.

There are some 230,000 men in the Russian Ground Forces and 45,000 more in the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV). There are some 12,000 men in the Russian Naval Infantry, also called the Russian Marines.

Ratnik (the Russian word for warrior) is a system consisting of advanced protective and communication equipment; weapons and ammunition. It comprises some 40 protective and life support elements and allows a soldier to receive continuously updated information about the situation in a combat area.

It includes modernized body armor; a helmet with special monitors (an eye monitor, thermal, night vision monocular, flashlight); a communications system and special headphones. It includes 10 subsystems and 59 items.

In addition, Ratnik includes a self-contained heater; a backpack; an individual water filter; a gas mask and a medical kit. Ratnik is designed to improve the connectivity and combat effectiveness of the ground forces. 

Ratnik protects almost 90% of a soldier's body. The weight of the full Ratnik gear with the special thigh and shoulder bulletproof shields comes to about 20 kg.

About 80,000 Ratnik kits were delivered in 2015 with a further 120,000 sets being delivered by the autumn 2016.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said it intends to purchase 50,000 Ratnik kits every year and its goal is to equip all soldiers with it. It's now working on an upgrade to Ratnik-2 called Ratnik-3.

"I think the most successful technical solutions from Ratnik will be included in it, but it will be an outfit of a totally new level by all components -- protection, destruction, life support, control and power supply, with the use of exoskeleton constructions, information and target designation on the visor or eyewear, microclimate maintenance and the serviceman's condition monitoring systems," said Gen. Salyukov of Ratnik-3.

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