Military

Israel unveils Merkava Mk 4 Barak smart tank

Israel unveils Merkava Mk 4 Ba...
The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system
The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system
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The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system
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The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system

The Israeli Defence Force brings artificial intelligence to armored combat with the latest variant of its main battle tank. The Merkava Mk 4 Barak is billed as the first tank to have an advanced AI and sensor system that takes over many routine tasks, allowing crews to concentrate on the mission at hand.

The Merkava, which first entered service 1978, is a dual-use tank with a distinctive turret set well back on the chassis and armored clamshell doors on the rear. This provides enough interior space inside the vehicle when the main-gun ammunition is removed to convert it into a medevac unit or armored troop carrier.

The Mark 4 Barak is the latest variant and is scheduled to begin trials in 2020. The centerpiece improvement is the advanced AI system that takes over routine crew tasks. According to the IDF, this not only allows mission times to improve by 30 percent, but it also helps to more quickly and accurately zero in on and attack targets. In addition, the computer can share data with both the crew and with other tanks in the vicinity.

One other innovation is the Iron View VR helmet that gives the soldiers a 360-degree view of the outside environment. This not only provides the commander with better situational awareness, but it gives trainees a much more realistic experience during exercises. The IDF says this makes the transition from training to real tank missions much easier.

"The Armored Corps concludes a significant period of operational successes in various regions, which proves the relevance of the corps in protecting the security of the State of Israel and its civilians," says an unidentified senior official from the Armored Corps. "The new tank brings the Armored Corps a step forward in the operational arena, and constitutes an innovative weapon that will change the face of the combat on the ground."

The video below shows the Barak's Iron Vision system in action.

Source: IDF

VR Training for the Merkava Mk. 4 Barak

7 comments
arjan_peter
yeah, this is the sadness : upgrade moar tanks... use this woaste-energy for life enhancements & drop the enforced power-moaney games. a large thank you from the heart of existence. friendly greetings, 0-point
sebastian17
So they managed to steal that tech from US as well. Truly our greatest ally.
Jay_Wilson
When will they roll out the street-legal version? I need to upgrade my Rezvani
BeinThayer
arjan_peter, Israel has, since its inception, faced a credible existential threat. They need not choose between this and 'life extension'. This IS life extension.
riczero-b
Barak means " blessing". Perhaps they need an Irony View helmet....
Bill Bennett
Moar war, bigger better war. Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex in 1961.
Bill Bennett
trump ain't gonna like that it was named after that Barak Obama guy. yes, snicker