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Army 2019: Russian VDV trials Mars A-800 UGV

Russia’s Airborne Forces (VDV) are testing the Mars A-800 logistics unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), a source from the military service told Jane’s at the Army 2019 defence exhibition held in Kubinka near Moscow from 25-30 June.

“The Mars A-800 utility tracked robot is now passing through the trials being conducted by the VDV,” said the source. “The platform has already passed through some tests conducted at a range of the Ryazan Airborne Troops School.”

The Mars A-800 unmanned ground vehicle can be airdropped. (Nikolai Novichkov)

The Mars A-800 unmanned ground vehicle can be airdropped. (Nikolai Novichkov)

The Mars A-800 has been developed by the Ryasan-based Design Bureau Aurora. The UGV is designed to provide battlefield support to an airborne motor rifle squad and can transport up to six fully equipped soldiers.

The Mars A-800 weighs 950 kg and can carry a 500 kg payload. The UGV can attain a maximum speed of up to 35 km/h and can cross water obstacles at 5 km/h. It can be operated at temperatures between –40°C and +40°C and is controlled by a single operator via radio channel.

The UGV offers four modes of operation. In the ‘Follow Me’ mode, it follows an active beacon that is attached to an operator’s equipment. The ‘Track’ mode enables it to travel along a pre-programmed route based on waypoints marked by the operator. In the ‘Cyclic Drive’ mode, the platform repeatedly traverses a pre-programmed route several times. An operator can also directly control the UGV via datalink in the ‘TV Control’ mode.

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