Killer robotsNew Armed Robot to Patrol Battlefield, Border

Published 13 September 2021

An Israeli defense contractor on Monday unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot which can patrol battle zones, borders, track infiltrators, and open fire. The robot can also be programmed to make decisions on its own, without human intervention, about opening fire.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has just unveil the Rex MK II, the newest unmanned land platform, which, the company says, aims troops out of harm’s way in complex circumstances.

The Rex MK II, already acquired by several customers around the world, is an unmanned land vehicle adapted to a range of ground missions with advanced maneuverability and ability to carry a load of 1.3 tons. The new hybrid electric platform, all-wheel drive, supports combat forces in gathering intelligence, providing logistical support, and execute remote attacks. The vehicle is land-based, autonomous with command-and-control capabilities. It can also be controlled by a single operator through wireless communication.

The system will be presented at the DSEI exhibition in London, this week.

The multi-mission Rex MK II is intended to support infantry ground forces in various stages of fighting. These include providing logistical assistance to troops by carrying munition supplies, critical medical equipment, water, and food, as well as evacuating injured personnel on stretchers. The system can also gather intelligence through a situation-awareness system which incorporates electro-optical sensors and radar.

The Rex MK II is also capable of conducting attacks by using remotely controlled weapons systems, including a 7.62mm machine gun, a cal 0.50 heavy machine gun.

It can also be used as a multi-mission multi-purpose platform to support additional missions based on troops needs.

The new Rex MK II joins other operational unmanned platforms developed by IAI, including the Jaguar, an unmanned land platform for defending borders, gathering intelligence, and carrying out attacks; the RobARC, an operational unmanned platform for uncovering and destroying ground level and subterranean explosive devices; the Robattle – a robotic operational land platform with high maneuverability, carrying out complex missions in difficult conditions, quickly and safely; the RobDozer – an unmanned bulldozer intended to carry out complex military engineering in danger zones.

Zvika Yarom, GM Land Division of IAI, said: “The need to support ground forces in the field to carry out various missions while minimizing threats to soldiers’ lives is at the heart of our values here at Israel Aerospace Industries. This system is based on harnessing our decades long experience with UAVs, to implement in the world of land vehicles. IAI’s unmanned land platforms are in use operating along Israel’s borders and in different fighting units as well as in other locations around the world. We are experiencing a rise in demand from clients for unmanned land platforms.”

IAI says that its Land Division concept is built on three principles: 1) Situational awareness, 2) Survivability, and 3) Lethality. “With the use of advanced technologies, our systems can recognize threats, employ active and passive defense measures, and supports the ‘sensor-to-shooter loops’ in real-time and in an autonomous manner (pressing the trigger by a soldier),” IAI says.