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AUSA 2021: Israeli MoD Selects IAI to Develop CARMEL Technologies

AI-Powered System of Systems Approach to Enhanced Combat Capability

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been selected by Israel’s MoD as prime contractor and integrator to develop the concept and technologies for the IDF’s future AFV – the CARMEL – the company announced on 10 October.

Following a successful live demonstration of a two-man, closed-hatches AFV, IAI was selected to develop the next phase of the CARMEL: development and demonstration of technologies for a multidimensional combat team, based on an AFV containing two crew members, operating a range of systems alongside integrated, autonomous air and land platforms, enabling significant improvement in system manoeuvrability.

IAI has developed and proven a combat concept in which an AFV, operating with closed hatches, is managed by a two-man crew and can successfully cope with existing and future challenges on the battlefield. The solution is based on automatic and autonomous systems, which complement the crew, operating the central subsystems – mission planning and management; situational awareness; driving; and lethality. These capabilities allow the crew to define, supervise and interfere only when necessary; they enable the crew to cover a wider area of concern, while effectively meeting the challenges faced by  manoeuvre forces in today’s battlespace. The system has the ability to locate and destroy time-sensitive targets with small footprints, through rapid target acquisition and effective engagement.

On the global stage, the CARMEL concept is truly groundbreaking, and has grabbed the attention of many industrial and military observers worldwide. The programme combines an innovative operational concept with the latest and most advanced state-of-the-art technologies, providing solutions for the future battlespace based on a small team, with  extensive reliance on autonomous capabilities based on artificial intelligence, while minimising risk to human lives and collateral damage, and simultaneously streamlining battle management.

The central principles behind the company’s concept of land combat include intelligence gathering and acquisition of targets in the battlefield, conducted autonomously. The CARMEL solution, as demonstrated by IAI, brings to the world of land combat the concept of ‘system of systems’ championed by IAI, and includes a combination of capabilities, systems, groundbreaking innovation and connection to the world of artificial intelligence as an additional strategic capability the IDF can use in the future battlefield. CARMEL will enable complex ground operations with less risk to human lives, which will transform ground combat strategy as we know it today,” stated IAI President and CEO, Boaz Levy.

The central technologies IAI is developing for manoeuvre forces include:

  • Command System – the brain, autonomously planning and managing missions;
  • Situational Awareness System – combining advanced capabilities in radar, SIGINT, and electro-optics, simultaneously locating ground and airborne threats, classifying, differentiating and prioritising targets in real time;
  • Lethality System – in charge of destroying targets in real time, allocating the most appropriate lethal tool for each target from a range of munitions;
  • Mobility System – in charge of optimal route planning;
  • Operations System – team members can observe the battlefield in several dimensions, thus gaining better understanding – an innovative user interface empowers optimal decision-making.


The true efficacy of CARMEL will be seen in effect when it takes its position at the heart of an integrated manned/unmanned combat team for future battlespace operations. (Image: IAI)

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