The Ukrainian military has found a new use for the Steam Deck platform

The Ukrainian military uses the Steam Deck as part of its military operations, but not as a way for soldiers to relax with video games during their downtime. Instead, the handheld computer is used to remotely control the machine gun turrets deployed on the front line.

As reported by PC Gamer, a video from TRO Media showed Ukrainian soldiers working with the “Shablya” (Ukrainian for “saber”) turret, which is operated remotely by the Steam Deck.

Credit: TRO Media

As we’ve learned from a whole host of Tom Clancy and Call of Duty games, remote-controlled turrets are very useful in war because they allow firing without exposing the weapon operator directly to enemy shots. The video provides a quick overview of how the Steam Deck interacts with the turret, with video of the weapon displayed on screen to enable target identification.

PC Gamer spoke to Aric Toler, a researcher at Bellingcat who helped uncover a leak of classified military documents on Discord last month, and explained why the Steam Deck is ideal for military use.

“The Steam Deck is pretty perfect when you think about it,” Toller said. Totally native OS client, great controller you can use, touchscreen, etc.

“It makes perfect sense to use Steam Deck, assuming the software is compatible with Linux (unless they go through the infamous process of dual booting Windows on Steam Deck).”

And at $399 for the base model, it’s also probably a lot cheaper than the “insanely expensive” consoles.

For more information about Steam Deck, check out our review. However, we have no ideas how it will function as a remote control for ordnance.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News & Features Editor.

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