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Russia Upgrades Soldiers' Standard Combat Gear

Russia GearThe Russian Defense Ministry said Russian soldiers will be outfitted this summer with an ensemble of futuristic gear including firearms, body armor, communications equipment and other technologies, according to the Russian news service Ria Novosti.

There have been some delays with the gear, called Ratnik, due to uncertainty over the small arms component, the Russian news service said.  Ratnik, which is currently in the final stages of field testing with Russian paratroopers, is expected to include a new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle.

Ratnik is comprised of about 50 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems, Ria Novosti states.  The equipment can be used by regular infantry, paratroopers, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts.

The set includes a multi-layer helmet and an armor vest with ceramic armor plates capable of stopping sniper rounds and AK 74 rounds.  The set’s camouflage smock and body armor weight about 10 kilograms. Together with the helmet and remaining gear the Ratnik ensemble weighs about 20 kilograms.

The gear also includes knives, flashlights, binoculars, night vision technology, mine-detection devices, ammunition, gloves, gasmasks and multi-purpose backpacks.

Ratnik includes expected essentials such as first aid kit materials and camping gear.

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