The Central Scientific-Research Institute of Precision Machine Engineering (TsNIITochMash) of Rostec State Corporation has supplied almost 300,000 Ratnik (English: “warrior”) combat equipment systems in eight years. Ratnik was developed by TsNIITochMash at the end of the 2000s and passed a full range of military tests, which showed the efficiency and accuracy of the technical solutions. After the completion of the tests, experimental batches were sent to troops. Russia’s Ground Forces and the Navy’s coastal brigades are practically fully equipped with the Ratnik combat gear in March 2019. 18,000 sets delivered in 2019 in basic, commander, sniper, machine-gunner, gunner and tank man versions and 18,000 more in 2020 In 2020, the production and delivery of combat kits was completed ahead of schedule.
Ratnik is advanced equipment that allows to successfully perform a wide range of tasks on the battlefield. It combines more than 60 elements: weapons, sights, personal protective equipment, autonomous heat sources, communication equipment and active hearing protection systems. Today, military specialists are developing tactical and technical requirements for the soldier of the future – a fundamentally new “Sotnik” (English: “centurion”) set of technologies. The main feature of Ratnik is its ability to adapt the kit to the physical characteristics of the soldier and the combat missions performed. In addition to the basic configuration, a commander’s version, kits for snipers, machine gunners, and combat vehicle crews have been developed.
Ratnik protects almost 90% of a soldier’s body. The main body armour with plates, designated 6B45 ‘6Б45’, is rated at protection class 6, according to GOST R 50744-95, and weighs 7.5 kg (with the Assault variant weighing up to 15 kg). The main body armour fully protects from 7.62×39mm rounds from assault rifles, and 7.62×54mmR from sniper rifles, including the increased penetration of hardened rounds, and can survive hits from repeated shots in these calibres conducted at close range. The plates inside the vest, designated Granit ‘гранит’, are removable from the 6B45 (6Б45), with the inside of the vest being lined with kevlar for additional protection. These plates are shaped similarly to the “Shooter” variant of the United States Armed Forces Small Arms Protective Insert.
Improvements include modernised body armour, a helmet with a special eye monitor (thermal, night vision monocular, flashlight), communication systems, and special headphones. The “Strelets” (“Musketeer”) system provides voice and video communication. The system also includes a GLONASS navigation module so that a squad leader can see the location of each soldier on his small, book-sized, computer. With this computer, he also can give orders to his squad, and send videos and photos to headquarters. As well as this, each soldier has their own smaller telephone-sized tactical computer. The Strelets command, control, and intelligence (C2I) system was operated in the Syrian conflict to send target data to strike aircraft. The use of the Strelets in conjunction with the Su-24M frontline bomber provides almost 100% accuracy.