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Ukrainian Forces Revolutionize Robotic Warfare Using Ratel S Ground Robot for Bridge Destruction

In a compelling advancement in military robotics, the Ukrainian army has intensified its utilization of ground robotic systems, embracing the deployment of UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) equipped with anti-tank mines for operational superiority. A captivating video released on April 2, 2024, unveils the strategic use of the locally-made Ratel S UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle or Ground Robot) in a high-stakes mission to demolish a bridge in the village of Ivanivske, Donetsk region. This calculated action effectively countered the efforts of Russian engineer troops, showcasing the tactical advantage and innovative prowess of the Ukrainian forces in leveraging unmanned technologies for battlefield success.
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The Ukrainian-made Ratel S ground robot armed with anti-tank mine was used by Ukrainian soldier to destroy a bridge under the control of Russian forces. (Picture source Viddeo footage Social Network)

The Ratel S UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), developed in collaboration with the Ukrainian defense association Brave 1, is at the forefront of this technological advancement. Designed to carry anti-tank mines, this UGV exemplifies the synergy of robotics and military strategy, offering a low-cost, effective solution for battlefield operations. The video highlights the Ratel S's successful mission in the Donetsk region's village of Ivanivske, where it was used to destroy a bridge, significantly disrupting the activities of Russian engineer troops.

Taras Ostapchuk, the designer of the Ratel S, emphasizes that this project is a result of a private initiative, with production being crowdfunded. The successful completion of state tests is anticipated to kickstart the official deployment of these UGVs to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Ostapchuk's vision represents a broader goal of building a robust community within the defense technology sector, fostering exchange of expertise and collaborative opportunities.

Equipped with anti-tank mines or a combat module, the Ratel S enables operators to engage enemy tanks or fortifications from a safe distance. With a maximum speed of 24 km/h, an operational range of 6 km, and a battery life of 2 hours, it boasts silent operation to stealthily approach enemy lines. Its design focuses on the destruction of enemy manpower and equipment, accommodating anti-tank explosive devices or mortar shells for versatile combat roles.

In April 2023, a demonstration video showcased the Ratel S carrying two TM-62 anti-tank mines, evidencing its capability to successfully integrate such powerful ordnance. The TM-62M is a High-Explosive Blast (HE-Blast), large, metal-cased, Anti-Vehicle (AV) blast landmine, which can be deployed mechanically or manually, further illustrating the flexibility and potency of the Ratel S in combat scenarios. Additionally, imagery released on social networks showed the UGV equipped with two mortar shells, indicating its versatility in carrying different types of ammunition or explosive charges.

The adoption of UGVs like the Ratel S follows the use of FPV (First Person View) aerial drones, marking a strategic evolution in the Ukrainian conflict towards leveraging robotic solutions for low-cost, effective warfare.

In March 2023, Ukrainian soldiers used quite a unique development during the battles for their country: a remotely controlled unmanned ground vehicle with explosives to approach russian troops' positions and blow them up. This war episode was in the video from the 3rd Assault Brigade.

Ukrainian forces used a rather small wheeled drone equipped with a MON-90 directional anti-personnel mine and 12 kg of TNT on top, for the one-way explosive sortie. Remote control was established via radio frequency, the drone transmits first-person view picture to the operator. In the meantime, the soldiers as well look over the robot from above with a UAV and continue distracting fire.

These developments signal a shift towards more autonomous and remotely operated systems on the battlefield, providing Ukrainian forces with innovative means to counteract enemy positions while minimizing risk to personnel. The strategic implementation of UGVs like the Ratel S showcases not only the ingenuity and resilience of Ukrainian military strategy but also the increasing role of technology in shaping contemporary combat scenarios.

Ukrainian Forces Use Ratel S Ground Robot to Revolutionize Robotic Warfare in Bridge Destruction 925 002
The Ratel S UGV Unmanned Ground Vehicle can be armed with anti-tank mine TM-62. (Picture source Social Network)

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