ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), successfully demonstrated its autonomous Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) to the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and other visiting VIP army dignitaries at the recent CARMEL Program Event in northern Israel.
The CARMEL Program is a local program initiated by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), part of the Israel Ministry of Defense, who are in search of breakthrough technologies that can be used for current and next-generation GCVs.
The program focuses on enhanced AI, autonomous and automatic capabilities for current and future combat scenarios, the ability to maneuver in urban environments, and that it can be operated by a minimum crew of two soldiers. The GCV was equipped with a full suite of situational awareness, target acquisition and force protection sensors, ECM (Electronic Counter Measures), weapon stations and autonomous navigation & maneuvering.
ELTA demonstrated the platform with two soldiers comfortably sitting inside the vehicle in front of a widescreen and equipped with only small hand control devices. Employing ELTA’s autonomous navigation & maneuvering system, they maneuvered on and off-road over rugged terrain, automatically detecting and classifying hostile targets, and informed the different weapons to react even against multiple targets.
After complying with the initial requirement, ELTA took it one step further by demonstrating the capability of a fully autonomous vehicle with only a soldier-in-the-loop to monitor and take action for handling complex scenarios. Altogether, the platform showed its ability to provide high survivability, lethality, threat detection, target acquisition and prioritization in battlefield environments while distributing real-time situational information to the relevant decision-makers.
ELTA’s CARMEL solution fuses several operationally proven ELTA products managed by Athena, an autonomous C6I and combat management system that operates all the sub-systems on the platform using Deep Learning and AI techniques.
The sub-systems demonstrated at the event included Advance Sight ELI-3312 (solution for target acquisition and cueing capabilities), StormGuard ELM-2135 (force-protection and target acquisition radar system), Othello ELO-5220 (hostile fire detector), WindGuard ELM-2133 (active protection Phased-Array radar), Remote Control Weapon Station (RCWS), Assault Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) loitering munition, missile interceptors, other electronic countermeasures and Autonomous navigation & maneuvering and decision making.
The solution is platform-agnostic and can be integrated onto a multitude of current and future GCVs. The Athena and autonomous navigation & maneuvering systems are kits that can be adapted and integrated onto different vehicles, and the radars and other sensors can be adapted to conform to the vehicle type and mission requirement.
Yoav Tourgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, said, “ELTA has been a provider of force-protection radars and other systems for many years. We have provided standalone solutions and also collaborated with other vendors in providing unique solutions such as the Active Protection System (APS) for vehicles called Trophy.
“Fusing all the systems with autonomous navigation & maneuvering kits from our Land Systems Division and Robotics & Autonomous Ground Business Units have proven to be a winning solution and received many accolades from our customers that came to view the demonstration.”