The future battlefield looks to be robot-driven and Russian ground forces appear to be moving in that direction quicker than most. The "Nerehta" AUGV (Armed, Unmanned Ground Vehicle) is evidence of this - appearing as a remote-operator-driven, track-and-wheel battlefield infantry support vehicle. The type has been featured in Russian war games to date (2018) and adds an interesting element within existing modern Russian infantry doctrine. The vehicle is manufactured by the Degtyarev Plant of Russia and was first demonstrated in 2016. Testing of the product ensued in 2017 by Russian ground forces. It was further demonstrated at Army 2018.
The vehicle is of relatively compact form with an overall length of 2.5 meters, a width of 1.6 meters and a height of 900 meters. Its weight reaches 1,700 kilograms while its payload capacity is set around 700 kilograms. The vehicle sports the general appearance of a small tank, with its track-and-wheel arrangement seen on both sides of a low-profile hull. There are four double-tired road wheels to a hull side with the drive fitted aft and the track idler at front. Two track return rollers are used. Over center of the hull roof is a trainable, traversing weapons mount which sports a single (optional) 12.7mm Kord Heavy Machine Gun (HMG), Kalashnikov 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG) or 30mm AG-30M Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL). For the transport role, this fitting is removed to make space for externally-mounted cargo. An operator is required for the proper battlefield function of this system and range of the remote-control is approximately 20,000 meters (extendable by way of mast assembly). Drive power is provided for by electric motors.
The Nerehta has been developed to take on a multitude of modern battlefield roles including general reconnaissance, artillery spotting/support, cargo transportation, and basic infantry fire support. its compact size certainly makes a good fit for lighter-armed elements such as airborne troopers and will most likely be a part of Russian Airborne in the near-future. The tank can also serve Army elements in urban fighting rather well. Its effectiveness on the battlefield will only be proven (or disproven) in time.