Russia’s fifth-generation nuclear submarines will be armed with robots and underwater drones, which will be used for surveillance, communications and combat, according to a report in Russia’s RIA-Novosti news service.
“We’re talking about battle robots which can be released by the submarine, and a type of underwater drone,” said Nikolay Novoselov, deputy CEO of the Malakhit design engineering bureau.
“They’ll be released by the submarine and stay offline before being remotely activated on command. It will give the submarine time to leave the area, with the drone staying in place to maintain a semblance that the submarine is still there.”
However, the Russian press noted that it will take time before fifth-generation boats replace the Russian Navy’s current fourth-generation subs.
Russia’s move follows the increasing use of underwater drones by the U.S. and other Western powers.