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August 5, 2019 11:50 am

Israel’s Defense Ministry Demonstrates New Autonomous Armored Vehicles

avatar by Udi Etsion / CTech

The experimental Carmel tank, an autonomous armored vehicle. Photo: Israeli Ministry of Defense.

CTech – On Sunday, the Israeli Ministry of Defense demonstrated new lightweight next-generation armored vehicles with self-driving capabilities. Defense contractors Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, as well as government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), all developed their own version of the vehicle as part of a tender issued by the ministry.

Dubbed Carmel, the armored vehicle is intended to replace the Israeli Merkava tank, the Israeli army’s main battle tank for the past three decades. Described as light, small, and “easy to operate,” the vehicle is designed for a two-person team and is powered by a hybrid-electric motor.

Carmel is equipped with artillery capabilities, including a turret, missiles, and mortars. Soldiers will be able to mark a location on a touch screen, and the vehicle will advance independently as crew members fire at targets. Using cameras, radars, laser and acoustic sensors, and artificial intelligence technology, the vehicle is capable of operating the artillery systems autonomously as well.

The Carmel vehicles are designed to allow fighting with a closed hatch, using advanced helmet-mounted panoramic displays.

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