A new military personnel-carrying Russian combat vehicle could be set for mass production in 2017-2018, reported Russian news agency Tass. According to the report, it will be operated with a system similar to a Sony PlayStation controller. Serial production of the Kurganets-25 tracked assault vehicle could come as soon as 2017, according to Tass. Albert Bakov, vice president and co-owner of the vehicle's developer, told the government-owned news agency that the development of the carrier is ongoing.
"The research and development work for the creation of the Kurganets-25 platform vehicles is not over yet," Bakov told Tass. "The development prototypes will be subjected to preliminary and then to state tests. So, concerning the new platform, I can say that the Russian Defense Ministry has already ordered a batch of the Kurganets MICV for field trials. If everything goes well, then the vehicles’ full-fledged serial production is planned to be organized in 2017-2018."
The vehicle was a part of rehearsals Thursday for Russia's Victory Day parade on Saturday, which will mark the anniversary of the country's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The huge tracked platform vehicle is controlled by a hand-held system resembling a PlayStation game pad.
"I spent two years on convincing the designers to make the console similar to a Sony PlayStation game pad, to make it easier for a young soldier to familiarize himself with it," Bakov said, according to Sputnik News.
Bakov said the controller also is safer and takes up less space than a steering wheel, according to Sputnik News. The Kurganets-25 has been in development for more than half a decade and will replace Russia's current tracked assault vehicles that have been in use since the Cold War, Tass reported. The heavily armored vehicle fits about six people and features a 30 mm cannon and four anti-tank missile launchers. The guns are remote controlled and away from the crew, according to the BBC.