Military and Police

Mil-Tech Roundup: Russia Budgets Nuke Subs, Army Futures Command, Tank-Killing Quadcopter

Another week has gone by and, per usual, several important mil-tech developments have come to light. Russia continues to up its game, with details of its upcoming Husky submarines having recently emerged. After years of neglect, Russia is working double-time to overhaul its military assets. Clearly, Putin isn’t satisfied with Soviet-era weaponry.

Russia’s advances are causing its neighbors to fret. One such neighbor, Belarus, recently unveiled a remote-control quad copter that could potentially take down a tank. Should Russia try to pull a Ukraine in Belarus, they might find their hands full. Meanwhile, the United States is looking to establish a high-tech hub with its Army Futures Command center. Five cities have now emerged on the finalist list.

Russia Husky Sub Will Lower Costs, Come with Hypersonic Missiles

Russia is looking to launch a cheaper nuclear-powered attack sub by 2027. The “Husky” was first reported back in 2014, but little was known about the project. Now, more details are slowly making their way into the light. The sub will feature a teardrop-style hull reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s Alfa-class submarine. It’s believed that the Husky will be equipped with Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. While these missiles are still under wraps, it’s expected that they’ll reach Mach 6 and have a range of 270 nautical miles.

The sub was originally designed by Malakhit Design Bureau. Construction will commence in 2023, and the first operation sub should be hitting the waters in 2027. The Husky will be nuclear powered, essentially giving it unlimited range.

Army Vetting Sites for Futures Command Tech Center

By now, you’ve most likely heard of Amazon’s HQ2 “contest” by which state and local governments are bidding for Amazon’s future secondary headquarters. Infrastructure, tax rebates, and other benefits are being pushed in an effort to draw in the tech behemoth. Did you know that the United States Army is holding a similar “contest,” vetting cities for its upcoming Army Futures Command?

Raleigh is among the contenders for Army Futures Command
Raleigh is among the contenders for Army Futures Command

The Army Futures Command will develop advanced tech for the military. Raleigh, Dallas, Boston, and two as of yet unnamed cities are being considered. The details regarding Army Futures Command remain a bit murky, but it’s expected to be a tech-oriented operation and will host around 500 workers initially. The Army intends to make its decision by the end of June 2018.

Expect politics to come into play regarding Army Futures Command’s final location. When Detroit was cut from the finalist list, Senator Gary Peters immediately went on the offensive, pleading for Michigan’s case. Senator Ted Cruz is likewise championing Texas, while Sen. Thom Tillis is pushing for North Carolina.

Belarusian Anti-Tank Quadcopter Takes Flight

When you think of military powers, Belarus probably isn’t among the first countries to come to mind. However, the relatively small and sparsely populated country resides in the shadow of Russia and has played home to many battles and wars over the centuries. As a result, Belarus has a very competent military.

Now, should tanks roll in from Russia or elsewhere, Belarus will be able to counter them with drones. Back in May, at the Losvido Training Ground, the Belarus military showed off a remote-controlled quadcopter equipped with a remotely-fired RPG-26 single-shot rocket. Videos of the quad copter firing the rocket were on YouTube but have since been taken down.

On May 18, a unique unmanned aerial vehicle was shown at the Losvido training ground in the Vitebsk region, Belarus. (Credit: Facebook/World Defence Forum)

Slapping a remote fired rocket onto a quadcopter might not seem like a big deal. Technologically, it’s clever but not exactly groundbreaking. However, such simple and cheap solutions could reshape the battlefields of the future. What if you could blow up a $5 million dollar tank with a drone and RPG costing only a few thousand bucks? Let’s hope Belarus never has to find out.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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