Valve’s Steam Deck used by Ukrainian army to control Machine Gun Turrets
Images have surfaced on Facebook of the Ukrainian army using a Steam Deck to control a machine gun turret from a safe distance.
A Facebook post from media outlet TPO Media showcased a Ukranian machine gun turret, which happened to be remotely controlled via Valve’s Steam Deck gaming handheld.
The Steam Deck is being used to fire the turret from a safe distance of 500 meters. It’s part of the “Sabre” system, which can be equipped with “any light anti-personnel or anti-tank weapon”, including a “Kalashnikov machine gun”.
It’s assumed that the Steam Deck is being used because it runs Linux, and in Desktop mode is easily controllable via the built-in control pad. This would mean less hardware out on the battlefield and easily tucked away in the event of a firefight.
How the Ukrainian army is using the Steam Deck
Elaborating on the system, the post even says how the Steam Deck is being integrated into the system. The “Sabre” system is controlled via “a control panel, camera, and monitor”, which it could be assumed is not only based on hardware but software as well.
A Steam Deck, aside from the camera mounted onto the turret itself, provides all the tools necessary for the turret to function, as an open-ended platform.
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This isn’t the first time that gaming hardware has been used in warfare, as Microsoft’s Xbox controllers are routinely pictured in warfare images to control robots, drones, and even UAVs.
The Ukrainian army is implementing the “Sabre” system to reduce the loss of life during firefights, by keeping the soldiers away from the action.
The Facebook post, which we’ve translated via DeepL, states that this is intended to be fitted at checkpoints and other key locations for the army’s efforts in the ongoing Russian invasion.
“Sabre” is a Ukrainian automated remote-controlled fire system designed for stationary installation on fixed objects or special vehicles.”