The Defense Ministry has spent 4 billion rubles ($90 million) this year on purchases of equipment for its new Ratnik infantry kit, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Monday, citing the CEO of the company supplying the kits.
Ratnik is roughly analogous to the U.S. army's future warrior program, which aspires to outfit infantrymen with high-tech battlefield gear bolstered by built-in GPS and communications equipment well-suited for the fluid combat environments military planners anticipate will characterize future conflicts.
The Ratnik equipment will be delivered to the military by the end of the year, and testing of the kit will begin in December, said Dmitry Semizorov, CEO of the Central Research Institute for Precision Engineering, which is developing the Ratnik kit for the army.
According to Semizorov, the Defense Ministry also plans to order a more advanced version of the Ratnik kit in 2015.
An export version of the Ratnik kit will also premier at the IDEX international arms expo in Abu Dhabi in February — the largest event of its kind.