Russian soldiers will begin field tests of cutting-edge combat gear in December, Russian Land Force commander-in-chief Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov said Wednesday.
"The combat kit is currently undergoing the final stage of state trials. In December, field tests will begin in units of the Ground Forces, the Airborne Forces and the Marine infantry of the Navy," he was quoted as saying.
According to Ria Novosti, when asked about the effectiveness of the new gear, Salyukov said, "Objective conclusions about the effectiveness of the Ratnik combat kit can be made based on the results of the field test."
He noted that apart from upgrading bulletproof vests and improving the effectiveness of small arms, the weight of the full combat kit has been reduced from 34 kilograms (75 pounds) to 24. The new Ratnik gear allows military personnel to carry out combat missions at any time of day and under different weather conditions.
According to Salyukov, equipping units with the new kit could increase the probability of combat missions being successfully executed by 1.5 to 2 times.
The Ratnik (Warrior) kit comprises more than 40 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, according to the report.
The number of items carried at all times by military personnel is constantly increasing under modern combat conditions, Salyukov said. Combat experience and results of comparative tests of foreign and domestic military equipment was taken into account when developing the Ratnik kit.
The gear is suitable for use by regular infantry, paratroopers, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts, the report added.
Other countries have similar futuristic combat gear kits, including the United States’ Land Warrior, Germany's IdZ, Britain's FIST, Spain's ComFut, Switzerland’s IMESS and France's FELIN.