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Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

  • 1K17 Szhatie Laser Tank on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#17) 1K17 Szhatie Laser Tank

    The 1K17 Szhatie was developed in the late '80s as a mobile laser - a battlefield-ready way to disable the optical-electrical equipment on planes, vehicles, and missiles. The Soviets got so into the possibilities of the program that its development was one of the best-kept secrets in the USSR, at least until defectors to the West smuggled drawings with them.

    The key to the tank was its laser, which depended on an astounding 30 kilograms of artificial rubies to focus. This would have made the tank so expensive that mass producing them would have been impossible. It also needed a clear line of sight, something virtually impossible to get in combat. Over a decade of development didn't amount to much, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, so too did the Szhatie. One was scrapped, the other went to a museum.

  • Fractional Orbital Bombardment System on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#11) Fractional Orbital Bombardment System

    Looking beyond traditional ballistic missiles, the Soviets developed a program called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. These were missiles that would enter a low Earth orbit, then de-orbit for an attack. The missiles could theoretically hit anything at any time, and because they were already in orbit, their flight path couldn't be deduced until a nuclear attack had already begun.

    Because such weapons were banned by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the Soviets tested them without the warheads. Three designs were developed, and one, the 8K69, was actually put into service. Eighteen launchers stood ready to wipe out millions of people from 1969 through 1983, when they were retired.

  • Anti-Tank Dogs on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#4) Anti-Tank Dogs

    Numerous countries have turned to the animal kingdom to help find an edge in warfare - and the results were usually pretty subpar. Starting as far back as the late 1300s, Mongolian chieftains used flaming camels to disperse their enemies. WWII was the height of attempting to weaponize animals, highlighted by the Soviet use of dog mines - dogs with explosives strapped to their backs, trained to run under German tanks to make them explode.

    Reportedly, these poor creatures destroyed over 300 German vehicles, though the program was stopped when it proved difficult to ensure the dogs would run in the right direction, as opposed to simply destroying the first tank they saw.

  • T-42 Superheavy Tank on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#3) T-42 Superheavy Tank

    The interwar period saw a frantic race to build bigger and more powerful supertanks. The Soviet entry into this competition was the T-42. Designed in 1930 by German engineer Edward Grotte, this beast would have weighed 100 tons, carried a crew of 14, and had three turrets carrying a variety of heavy and light guns.

    The Soviet military wasn't impressed with the tank, which needed an engine so powerful that it hadn't been invented, causing the tank to be too slow and vulnerable to actually use. The design never got past a blueprint. Grotte went on to design the 1,000-ton behemoth "Ratte" tank for Germany - which was also canceled in the blueprint stage.

  • L-1 Hovercraft Tank on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#12) L-1 Hovercraft Tank

    Engineer Vladimir Levkov developed the L-1 hovercraft in 1934. He worked with a team from Moscow Aircraft Plant #84 and built a 1:4 mockup in 1937. The machine would have been powered by two aircraft engines and armed with whatever could be positioned in its turret - in this case, just one machine gun.

    Levkov's design went nowhere, as the design failed to attract a high-ranking patron in the Soviet military.

  • Polyus on Random Unique Russian Military Inventions

    (#15) Polyus

    With the US developing the SDI missile defense system (AKA Star Wars), it fell to the Soviets to come up with a countermeasure. That turned out to be Polyus, a prototype orbital weapons platform designed to shoot down SDI satellites with a megawatt carbon-dioxide laser.

    Polyus was duly launched in 1987, just four years after Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech kicked off the US development of SDI. However, the satellite failed to reach orbit, burning up over the Pacific Ocean. Mikhail Gorbachev had prohibited Russian weaponizing of space. The program was canceled after the one launch, with the components being used for other Soviet/Russian space programs.

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Russian scientific achievements have made great contributions to the development of modern human civilization and therefore are appreciated by the world. Especially the modern military inventions in recent centuries. The military industry is very important to Russia, its domestic economy relies heavily on the munitions industry, and it also plays an important role in the world military market.

Many important Russian military inventions have made important contributions to the development of the country's military strength, and many of them have even changed history. The random tool lists 17 unique Russian military inventions in world history.

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