Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by Edsel Cook
Some people say the late, great techno-thriller writer Tom Clancy had an uncanny knack for predicting the future. But perhaps even he didn’t foresee Russia’s new “future soldier” concept, which looked like it plagiarized a video game featuring Clancy’s brand name, reported the Daily Mail.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia recently tweeted a graphic of a futuristic Russian soldier covered from head to toe with futuristic gear and lethal weaponry.
Other Twitter users noticed the distinct resemblance to the fictional American soldier on the cover art of the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier video game.
Russian researchers have dismissed those claims. According to them, it’s only normal for military forces to use fictional soldiers as the ideal they aspire to equip their own troops. (Related: Why the survival of humanity may soon depend on citizens using GUNS to kill ROBOTS.)
The furor began when Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin made a Twitter post about a recent visit he and parliament members paid to a Russian military research agency.
“At my invitation, a group of deputies from the Russian Duma visited @fpi_russia and familiarized themselves with the results of its work in the fields of robots, advanced materials science, additives and information technologies,” he wrote in his tweet.
To liven up his Tweet, Rogozin attached the graphic of a fearsome-looking soldier wearing body armor and a visor helmet akin to a welder’s mask.
According to the Cyrillic text, the “Russian soldier of the future” will wield an AK-12 assault rifle with an under-slung grenade launcher and night vision sight. Communications and information processing systems are built into his helmet while the Permyachka body armor reportedly protects against fire, water, and shrapnel.
The entire system reputedly weighs 57 pounds and costs $45,000, making it lighter and cheaper than comparable gear that NATO and the U.S. military are working on right now.
The complete system was attributed to the joint efforts of the Izhmash and Tsyklon military research institutes, the French defense company Sagem (now a part of Safran), and Russian state corporation Rostec.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was developed by Ubisoft and released in 2012. Set in 2024, the game lets the player assume the role of a U.S. special forces operative who fights a variety of enemies, including renegade Russian soldiers who took over their country in a military coup.
The box art features an American soldier who looks more or less the same as the “Russian Future Soldier” in Rogozin’s image. The body pose, the rifle, the armored vest, the position of the grenade on the belt, the way one of the sleeves is folded, and even the color pallet are remarkably similar.
One amused tweeter joked that the large scope on the rifle was a bottle of vodka.
This wasn’t the first time the Russian graphic made the Internet rounds. It originally appeared in 2012, the year Ghost Recon: Future Soldier came out, and provoked similar reactions. The Deputy Prime Minister’s Tweet brought it back into the limelight.
“The image of the soldier of the future today affects not only computer game manufacturers but also the developers of military equipment the world around,” a Rostec representative replied to accusations of plagiarism.
“To put it simply, the images of the soldier of the future that we see in sci-fi today, are the ideal towards which everyone is moving and which will one day be embodied not just in 3D computer graphics, but in reality.”
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