Israel Ministry of Defense to test drone-packing advanced robotic tank

Israel Ministry of Defense to test drone-packing advanced robotic tank
The Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle unveiled last week
The Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle unveiled last week
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The Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle unveiled last week
The Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle unveiled last week

The Israeli Ministry of Defense plans to begin testing of a Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle (M-RCV) next year. The vehicle unveiled last week at the Eurosatory Defense and Security Exhibition in Paris by Elbit Systems will act as an advanced technology demonstrator.

With only 169,500 active personnel at any one time and having to operate in urban areas and rugged terrain, the Israeli Defense Forces obviously prefer to operate under a doctrine of minimizing its casualties whenever possible. As a result, Israel takes a very keen interest in defensive and robotic systems that eliminate the human element.

Developed by the Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the Tank and APC Directorate, and Israeli security industries, the robotic tank is based on a new robotic platform type BLR-2 made by Israeli firm BL. It features a 30-mm autonomous turret originally developed by the Tank and APC Directorate for the Eitan armored personnel carrier; the Elbit Iron Fist Active Protection System, which is a smaller, mountable version of the Iron Dome anti-projectile defense system; fire control and mission management systems; a robotic autonomous operations kit; and active and passive sensors for situational awareness.

In addition, the robotic vehicle carries a capsuled drone that it can deploy and retrieve for forward reconnaissance missions. It can also carry a variety of heavy loads, as well as an Israeli Aerospace Industries missile launcher and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike missiles.

According to Elbit, the robot can operate in all weathers in a largely autonomous mode and can integrate with uncrewed battlefield arrays. Field tests in representative scenarios are scheduled to start in 2023.

The video below shows the M-RCV in action.


Source: Elbit Systems

Mark T.
Great idea. There's no way we will ever regret using machines to kill humans. /s More seriously, how about a general ban on this kind of stuff before we regret it?
@Mark T. Who's gonna enforce the ban? Geopolitics dictate that unfair advantages be extensively developed. There is no Gentlemen's agreement among nations.
Picking up the thread of the first two comments, there are in fact bans on a number of different types of weapons, but the problem with banning AI is that you're basically trying to ban computer code. If it's taken as a given that killing machines are going to have digitally integrated sensors and servos then taking humans out of the loop is always just a code branch away. Maybe what's needed is a ban on remote killing, which also allows us to save the warrior mythos from nerddom. In any event remote killing, whether by AI or telepresence, is just going to get easier for everybody.
Whatever happened to EMP grenades - still just available in various gaming enterprises? If so guess we need to be looking into none nuclear EMP weapons to be able to turn these billion dollar items into much cheaper scrap.