For years, Russia has been working on an alleged miracle weapon: With the help of artificial intelligence, the "Marker" combat robot should be able to independently identify and shoot down western tanks. Now he is said to have arrived in Ukraine. But experts doubt his abilities.
According to Russian information, combat robots of the "Marker" type will soon be used on the front in Ukraine. As the former head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, explained on Telegram, four "markers" have arrived in the Donbass region and are now being prepared for use in the war. "We start uploading target images, work out combat algorithms and install powerful anti-tank weapons," writes Rogozin on a video intended to show one of the unmanned tracked vehicles being unloaded.
The "Marker" is an autonomous combat robot that is said to be able to independently locate and shoot down targets up to 15 kilometers away. According to Rogozin, who is now head of the "Tsar Wolves" military advisory group and a close confidant of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, the "marker" uses artificial intelligence (AI) to distinguish between a civilian and the military. As early as mid-January, Rogozin had announced on Telegram that the "marker" in Ukraine should undergo its "baptism of fire". However, there are doubts about the actual capabilities of the combat robot.
In an interview with the state broadcaster RIA Novosti, Rogozin claimed that the "marker" was able to "automatically identify" enemy equipment using an electronic catalogue. According to this, he could distinguish an Abrams from a Leopard main battle tank and hit it according to his targets. However, the US military expert Samuel Bendett limited the US portal "Newsweek" to the fact that the main battle tanks at the front did not operate independently. "The 'Marker' doesn't just roll up to a tank and shoot at it," he said. Bendett considers the use of the alleged silver bullet to be more of a propaganda show.
Because so far, according to Bendett, there are only five "markers", four of which are said to go to Ukraine. It is likely that the Ukrainian army will "hunt" them there with drones from the air. The military expert does not consider the combat robot to be a tank killer, as the entire technology is still in its infancy. "The 'markers' may not necessarily be prepared for the very complicated environment in a Ukrainian combat zone," Bendett said, according to Newsweek.
The "marker" was developed by the Russian research center for armaments FPI and the company Magnitogorsk Android Technology. The combat robots weigh around three tons and can be equipped with machine guns and anti-tank weapons. According to Rogozin, specialists in the Russian army are currently being trained to operate the "markers".