Russian automated weapon
Kalashnikov says it will showcase its automated weapon by the end of this year kalashnikov

Russian arms companies are making strides in creating autonomous weapons. The Russian army expo 2017 is now underway and the main focus of attention seems to be concentrated around both aerial and ground vehicle weapons that can think, decide, and attack on their own.

Although Kalashnikov is yet to show their automated ground vehicle, other Russian weapon designers have come forward with their own versions of AI operated machines of war. There is reportedly a lot of competition in the Russian unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) market.

Most notable amongst the UGVs that have been showcased so far are the Vihr and Uran-9, reports the National Interest. These vehicles have been developed for combat operations, and to keep up with battlefield trends, they will be working alongside and in conjunction with small drones and quadcopters, the report added.

Vihr is a heavy, unmanned ground vehicle that is reportedly created on the basis of the BMP-3 infantry-fighting vehicle. It will get a 30mm cannon, twin machine guns and grenade launchers. Vihr is part of an autonomous "suite" of vehicles that include drones which it will be tethered to, increasing its situational awareness when it operates autonomously, according to the report.

Also of special interest is the Voron 777-1 helicopter that can reportedly perform "warfare duties" autonomously. The report suggests that it has cleared testing and is ready to go into service in 2018-2019. Voron, it is said, can fly on its own and even deliver a "small-scale payload".

Earlier, it was reported that Kalashnikov will be showcasing their AI weapons systems that include a reconnaissance-strike robot complex, weighing 20 tonnes. However, the company has decided against it.

Alexei Krivoruchko, the company's director general, said, "No, this time we are not demonstrating it for certain reasons, but a bit later this year we shall, of course, present this complex."

"As for the weapons, there it would be possible to install any weapons - as a client would want. Right now, the complex is at the stage of the plant assembly."

The ground vehicle from Russia's largest weapons maker is reportedly based on the existing Soratnik version that was built for the 2016 army expo. Soratnik, allegedly never went into full scale production, but the platform will be used as a testing bed for its various UGVs that it plans to build in the future.