The Israeli Ministry of Defense has unveiled a new main battle tank that features artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced systems.
Called the “Barak,” the new armored vehicle is described as the fifth generation of the famous Merkava battle tank in service with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The tank, under development for more than five years, is programmed to quickly zero in on targets and hit enemy forces before they are able to strike.
Its AI systems also improve the vehicle’s image processing and scanning capabilities, providing the crew inside with increased situational awareness and accurate target acquisition.
“The Barak tank will strengthen the capabilities of detecting enemies and will enable fighting against an enemy with a reduced signature and in all combat scenarios, on the current and future battlefield,” the ministry stated.
The armored vehicle was developed jointly by the country’s Armored Vehicles Directorate and the IDF Ground Forces and Armored Corps, with components from Elbit Systems, Rafael, and Israel Aerospace Industries.
It is expected to be operational by the end of this year and will be incorporated into IDF armored units, starting with Battalion 52.
According to the defense ministry, the Barak is operated by a crew of four: a commander, a driver, a gunner, and a loader.
It is equipped with “a wide infrastructure of reliable sensors,” making it a “real revolution on the battlefield.”
While inside the vehicle, the commander will wear an Elbit combat helmet similar to the one being used by fighter jet pilots.
The device will allow operators to perform a 360-degree scan of the surroundings by simply moving their heads, facilitating real-time target detection without exposing the crew.
Furthermore, the tank will feature the Trophy anti-missile tank protection system for “superiority” in battle.
The Barak will gradually replace Jerusalem’s Merkava Mark 4, which currently forms the backbone of the Israeli armored corps.