From components to robots. Development of VNII “Signal” at “Army-2020”

One of the serial guidance drives. Photo by VNII “Signal”

The Joint Stock Company All-Russian Research Institute Signal (Kovrov, Vladimir Region), which is part of the High-Precision Complexes holding, celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. In the jubilee year, the enterprise once again participates in the Army Forum and demonstrates its latest developments. It is noteworthy that we are talking about both independent systems and components for various complexes.

Component base

One of the main activities of VNII “Signal” is various kinds of electronic and electromechanical systems. At “Army-2020”, such developments are present at the stand of the institute and as part of equipping real samples of military equipment.

Thus, “Signal” develops and manufactures guidance drives for various systems, incl. air defense complexes. The newest developments of this kind are control devices for anti-aircraft systems of the Pantsir family – several of these products are presented at Army-2020. New variants of drives are being developed for the following modifications of the “Armor”.


ZRPK “Pantsir-SM” – equipped with actuators manufactured by “Signal”. Photo by Rostec

The drives from VNII “Signal” are used on the ship mounts A-190 and A-192M. In ground artillery, such devices are installed on the Msta-S self-propelled guns and the Smerch MLRS. Compact drives for Ka-52 helicopters have been developed. Development of new samples is underway. In particular, electric drives are offered for the uninhabited tower of the T-14 main tank.

Another area of ​​activity is navigation systems. The latest development in this area is the line of strapdown inertial navigation systems already used in the design of military equipment. For the first time in domestic practice, a navigation system has been created adapted to the conditions of the Arctic. This product is intended for the northern version of “Pantsir” and is capable of operating in a wide range of climatic conditions, as well as in high latitudes.

Another route-navigation system is being developed, which is already classified as a new generation. It will be based on a tablet computer with a touch screen and special software. The system will have a terrain visualization function; work with the map and the solution of topographic and geodetic problems are proposed to be carried out using graphic elements.


“Pantsir-SA” – carriers of drives and the latest navigation system from VNII “Signal”. Photo by AP RF

Electronics for gunners

In 2019, state tests of a promising complex of automated artillery control systems KSAU-MN “Tablet-A” were carried out. Now VNII “Signal” is preparing for serial production and delivery of such equipment to the troops. In addition, an export look has been developed for this system, which ensures the integration of various components and interaction with various artillery systems.

KSAU-MN “Tablet-A” includes several components and is built around a compact tablet computer. The latter provides the collection of all the necessary information and automatic generation of data for shooting. The complex is intended for use by commanders of guns, batteries and battalions. With its help, fire control is provided for artillery systems of all classes and types, ranging from 82-mm mortars. Provides high autonomy of work: the computer has its own batteries and can be recharged from batteries in a carrying case.

Work has already begun to improve the “Tablet-A”. In particular, the possibilities for the interaction of the KSAU-MN with unmanned aerial vehicles are improving. In the future, “Tablet-A” will be able to work with ground-based robotic reconnaissance systems or other systems. The developments on the new KSAU-MN can find application in the deep modernization of existing complexes of this kind.


Components of KSAU-MP “Tablet-A”. Photo Vpk.name

Transparent armor

VNII Signal already has experience in creating robotic systems on the platforms of serial armored vehicles. At Army-2020, he presents a new development in this area – the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle with the Parallax monitoring and control complex.

In the course of modernization, the standard controls were supplemented with remote control devices. There are also vision aids and an automatic control system. Depending on the requirements of the situation, such a BMP-3 can move along the route under the control of a driver or a remote operator, or completely independently. Armament and troop compartment remained the same.

The main innovation of the “Parallax” project is a system of supervisory terrain survey or “transparent armor”. The video signal from cameras around the BMP-3 is processed and sent to the operator’s virtual reality glasses. Turret rotation is controlled by turning the head, and fire control is carried out from a separate remote control. This is the first domestic development in the field of “transparent armor”, brought to practical implementation and testing.


Forest fire truck PM-160 – VNII “Signal” turned it into a RTK. Photo by Rostec

The developers point out that the BMP-3 “Parallax” is a technology demonstrator and is not intended to be put into service. With the help of this and other experimental machines, Signal plans to develop promising technologies with a view to further implementation in new projects.

Work for robots

VNII “Signal” presents at the “Army” several other RTKs for different purposes, incl. already known to the public and experts. So, once again show the RTK demining “Pass”. This machine was first demonstrated in 2015, and by now all work has been completed. Permission to start serial production was obtained. An export modification will be created by the end of the year.

The developments on the RTK theme were used in the project of the Pioneer fire extinguishing vehicle. This is a tracked forest fire vehicle PM-160 with a set of remote controls; the standard cabin has been preserved. The control center is mounted in a UAZ-3909 van and allows you to work at a distance of up to 1 km. The Pioneer retains all the functions of the basic PM-160, but is capable of operating without a person on board, which reduces the risks for firefighters.


RTC demining “Passage”. Photo by VNII “Signal”

Together with the GAZ Group, VNII Signal developed the Ural-Next robotic truck. With the help of this technique, the technology of the automated movement of vehicles in a convoy was developed. The first in such a convoy is a remote-controlled truck controlled by an operator. It is automatically followed by other machines, fully controlled by the automation. Equipment with such equipment should seriously simplify road transport in various areas, incl. in the army.

Ready and promising

The activities of VNII “Signal” cover a number of important areas necessary for the current rearmament and further development of the armed forces. Finished products and components for foreign products are produced, as well as fundamentally new samples are created and promising technologies are being worked out.

The results of such work over the past few years are being demonstrated at the current forum “Army-2020”. At the same time, the demonstrated developments are at different stages – from research and demonstration of technologies, such as Parallax, to the launch of a series, such as Pass or Tablet-A. All this shows both the process of modernization of the army, and the participation in it of the VNII “Signal” and its subcontractors.

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