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Russian Battle Robots Near Testing for Military Use

The Defense Ministry plans to use the robots to protect Russia's intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites by 2020.

Machine-gun wielding battle robots are going to be tested in Russia's Astrakhan region for use by the country's Strategic Missile Forces, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

Major Dmitry Andreyev, a representative for the Defense Ministry's Strategic Missile Forces, was cited as saying that preparation for the testing is currently in its final stage.

The trials will be focused on "exploring mobile and stationary robotic systems, including those that are responsible for the formulation of remote-controlled means of stealth technology and signaling," Andreyev said.

The testing is part of an initiative to deploy robots to protect the Defense Ministry's intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites by 2020, a plan announced by Andreyev last summer.

At that time, Andreyev described the robots as a "remote-controlled firing system" and said testing on the system would be completed by the end of 2014, Interfax reported.

The robots, which weigh 900 kilograms and wield a 12.7 mm machine gun, first underwent testing last April. They boast a speed of up to 45 kilometers per hour, can function for up to 10 hours at a time and remain operational in standby mode for up to one week, Vesti.ru reported at the time.

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