IDF unveils its futuristic ‘Carmel’ armoured vehicle

August 6, 2019 by Arye Green -TPS
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The IDF’s Research and Development Agency (RDA) has unveiled the Carmel, a prototype of the futuristic armoured vehicle that the Israeli forces will use in the coming years.

Photo by Defense Ministry, division of Communications and Spokesmanship

The new high-tech vehicle is a culmination of the combined work of some of Israel’s top defence and security firms – Elbit, Rafael, and Israel Aerospace Industries. Each company developed different elements of the vehicle, and have collaborated to bring the innovative design to life.

The armoured vehicle will be operated by only two crew members and will feature autonomous capabilities as well as elements of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The RDA challenged the three companies to develop a cockpit that is visually immersive and afford’s the team a full picture of the battlefield while providing full protection for the team. The various designs took into account the futuristic autonomous capabilities, as well as groundbreaking technologies already implemented in Israeli tanks.

The designers were asked to design the cockpit, so the crew members operating the vehicle get relevant tactical information in real-time and only make decisions that the autonomous systems have yet to fully master.

Elbit designed their cockpit similar to that of an F-35 Jet, complete with a helmet that acquires targets and allows the pilots to navigate by head movements alone. Rafael developed a “transparent cockpit” that incorporates many large monitors so as to allow for peripheral vision. Israel Aerospace Industries combined panoramic screens with joysticks for the crew members, allowing them to better control the weapons that the vehicle is equipped with.


Each of the companies also added their own unique weapons systems, for offensive and defensive purposes. Many of the systems have a high degree of autonomy, but in offensive matters, still require the humans inside to make the final life-or-death call.

The Carmel is built with state of the art technologies and showcases the incredibly innovative weapons industry in Israel. It will be a platform for the testing and demonstration of the Israeli weapons capabilities to the entire world.

The development has significance both for Israel’s defense and for its economy, as the defense industry rakes in an approximate nine billion dollars.

Brigadier general Yaniv Rotem, head of Development at RDA, was pleased with the results and said that they were able to show it’s possible to have a small crew, comprised of only two members, who can fulfill all the mission’s requirements.

“We are headed towards a radical perceptual shift in the way land-based warfare is conducted, and we would like to realize that in our plans for the future in the IDF,” Rotem stated.

Additionally, he said there are “many armies in the world who are interested in these developments; everyone wants to see the future of the armored vehicle.”

High-ranking US Army officers were present at the unveiling ceremony.

“In the near future, many more representatives are expected to come to see our development, and I’m confident this will facilitate strengthening cooperation in the future,” said Rotem

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