MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russian soldiers’ cutting-edge combat gear has not been put into service yet due to delays in the fine-tuning of the new set’s light weapons, a senior defense official said on Thursday.
In early June, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, visited the privately owned Degtyarev small arms plant in central Russia and said the tests of the Ratnik (Warrior) set had been completed and that it could be handed out to soldiers within a month.
On Thursday, Rogozin wrote in his Twitter microblog that the equipment, which can be used by regular infantry, rocket launcher operators, machine gunners, drivers and scouts, could only be adopted after the final state tests were completed by the end of the year.
The Ground Forces confirmed that information to RIA Novosti.
The Ratnik set is comprised of more than 40 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems. It will be demonstrated as a complete set at the Russia Arms Expo 2013, due to be held on September 25-28 in the Urals region, Rogozin said.
Other nations have similar futuristic combat kits, including the US Land Warrior, Germany's IdZ, Britain's FIST, Spain's ComFut, Switzerland’s IMESS and France's FELIN.
Rogozin previously claimed that the Russian equipment would be superior to its NATO counterparts.