Igorek, Kalashnikov’s mecha, is not the only high

Since the end of February and the start of the war it declared on Ukraine, Russia has multiplied its admissions of weakness. One concerns its glaring lack of certain latest generation military equipment, which has often prevented it from being as offensive as in its initial intentions. It is a fact, highlights Interesting Engineering: Moscow suffers every day from its lack of modern equipment.

A look in the rear view mirror makes things all the more cruel: if Russia had carried out all the technological development projects announced over the last seven or eight years, it would today be in a position of strength in the face of to Ukraine. Perhaps even the war would have been folded in a few weeks.

All the devices revealed certainly did not have the same degree of credibility. But the fact that Russia has delivered almost none of the high-tech promises it has made over its many communications operations speaks volumes about the gap between Russian rhetoric and the reality on the ground.

If it were necessary to retain only one Arlesian, it would undoubtedly be Igorek, the mecha worthy of the greatest universes of science fiction. Developed by the Kalashnikov company, this biped walking robot was presented in 2018 on the occasion of a military exhibition which is held every two years on the outskirts of Moscow.

Since then, nothing. Which isn’t much of a surprise: the very concept of walking robots is floundering, and Igorek’s mobility would have required many more years of development before it could actually be used on field.

Anyway, according to Interesting Engineering, it may never have been discussed, since Igorek probably only served to improve the image of the Kalashnikov company, whose name is primarily associated with gangs and guerrillas. urban.


We have no further news from T-14 Armata tankwhich should have made it possible to definitively draw a line under a whole range of armored vehicles inspired by the historic T-72 – including its most glaring faults, like this high explosive turret become a symbol of Russian technological disappointment.

Reinforced protection systems, nuclear warheads, completely redesigned design: the Armata, announced in 2015, was enough to make the eyes of the Russian military shine.

Some 2,000 T-14s should have been built around 2020. Finally, in August 2021, a more reasonable objective of around twenty tanks was announced for the end of the year. Since then, that number has apparently dropped to zero, with some components being both very expensive and hard to obtain. Russia has therefore brought out its T-62ssixty years old, for lack of more modern machines.

Same misfortune on the side of the robotic combat vehicles promised from the mid-2010s. The Uran-9, presented in 2016, was presented as the future spearhead of the Russian army, which would allow it to crush everything in its path. The size of a small truck, with high-performance machine guns and anti-tank missiles, it was intended to be controlled by a single operator.

Unfortunately for Russia, the first non-simulated tests were a disaster. It was in 2018, during a mission in Syria: unable to maintain the wireless connection linking it to the men in charge of controlling it remotely, Uran-9 quickly released the white flag. If it had been enough to make a few adjustments to improve its performance and responsiveness, then it would probably have reappeared since the start of the war with Ukraine. But the robot-tank is missing, like a new symbol of the Russian fiasco.

The plane, the plane, the plane?

The list of Russian high-tech setbacks is long. It also includes the Sukhoi Su-57, combat aircraft that should have rivaled the American F-22 Raptor. The machine is however one of the most successful projects of the Russian army, since it has a handful of devices of this type – between six and fifteen according to the sources.

The problem is that the Kremlin had started by counting on hundreds of Su-57s, and that the lack of means ended up pushing it to reduce its ambitions. Result: no aircraft of this type have been observed in Ukrainian airspace since the beginning of the war, or else remotely, for fear of losing a device so rare and whose secrets would be of great interest to Western intelligence. Another incredible symbol of the Russian debacle.

Igorek, Kalashnikov’s mecha, is not the only high-tech Arlesian in the Russian army