Russia showcased some of its newest and most advanced military hardware including a hypersonic missile and a robo-tank on Wednesday at the customary Victory Day Parade commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany.
The annual display of military might sees thousands of servicemen and women parade among columns of tanks, missiles and drones as military jets fly over. It has traditionally been used by Russia to showcase its latest military technology.
This year, the new hardware on display included the Uran-9 unmanned tank, dubbed robo-tank.
It is manually controlled by a single operator from a mobile command and control station 3km away. The distance can be increased to 6km if the tank operates in a formation of four.
The tank was already deployed in Syria, according to a Facebook post by the Ministry of Defence. It is equipped with anti-tank guided missile launchers, an automatic cannon for defence against ground and low-flying aerial targets, and machine guns.
Other hardware on show included the Uran-6 — a mine-clearing robot used in Palmyra, in Syria, two years ago – as well as two unmanned aerial vehicles, the Korsar and Katran drones.
The ex-USSR lost an estimated 27 million people during what it called the Great Patriotic War. “Our people fought to the death. No country has suffered such an invasion,” the Russian president said in a speech before the parade.
Pilots flew in a familiar diamond formation in several models of fighter jet, including the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57. In March the TASS news agency reported that two such stealth fighters had been successfully tested in Syria.
The T-14 Armata tank was seen as groundbreaking when it was first shown off in 2015. Budget constraints have held up its rollout, but in February Russia’s deputy defence minister Yuri Borisov said two battalions had been ordered.
A turbocharged diesel engine is said to enable the T-14 to reach a maximum speed of 88 kilometres per hour. It can fire laser-guided missiles a distance of just under 12 kilometres.
Joining Russian President Vladimir Putin on this 73rd anniversary is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The two are to hold talks on military coordination, hours after Israel was blamed for carrying out deadly overnight airstrikes on a Syrian military base south of Damascus. Meanwhile , both Russian and Iran troops are providing military backing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“In light of what is currently happening in Syria, it is necessary to ensure continued coordination between the Russian army and the Israeli army,” Netanyahu said in a Facebook post ahead of the meeting on Wednesday.
Their talks also come a day after US President Donald Trump announced that the US would pull out of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran signed in 2015.