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Israel launching trials of new unmanned combat vehicle

Israeli M-RCV
Photo: Israeli defense ministry

Israel’s defense ministry revealed on Monday it would begin trials of a newly-developed robotic unmanned vehicle (M-RCV medium robotic combat vehicle), unveiling it at the Eurosatory exhibition in France for the first time.

Developed by the defense ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the Tank and APC Directorate, and Israeli defense companies, the vehicle is expected to start field tests “in representative scenarios” during 2023.

M-RCV includes a new robotic platform type BLR-2 made by BL, a 30 mm autonomous turret initially developed for the Eitan APC, Elbit’s “Iron Fist” active protection system, an Israel Aerospace Industries’ missile launcher, and Rafael’s Spike missiles.

Photo: Israeli defense ministry

It also features fire control and mission management systems, and robotic autonomous kit, in addition to situation awareness systems.

What is more, the vehicle will be equipped with a capsuled drone for forward reconnaissance missions, and a passive sensing kit developed by Elbit Systems and Foresight.

The technological demonstrator, led by the Ministry of Defense’s DDR&D and the Tank and APC Directorate, integrates a number of novel technologies including advanced maneuvering capabilities, the ability to carry heavy and varied mission loads, and a built-in system for transporting and receiving UAVs.

M-RCV’s capabilities will provide an autonomous solution for forward reconnaissance, and controlled lethality in all-terrain conditions. It is operational during the day and night in all-weather scenarios.

The system was developed as part of the autonomous battlefield concept led in the DDR&D in collaboration with the Tank and APC Directorate while implementing an open architecture for integrating future capabilities and integrating the robot alongside other tools and capabilities.