Recent conflicts have seen the increasing risks to infantry soldiers at a rate never seen since the widespread emplacement of heavy and machine guns in World War I.
Countermeasures systems and adjustments to tactical doctrine are an obvious response but these solutions cannot completely mitigate the dangers to exposed personnel. In response, Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Group and Subsidiary, ELTA Systems Ltd.(ELTA), has leveraged its proven legacy in field proven solutions to produce a series of unique Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) combat systems with proprietary, in-house Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques. These systems provide a wide range of combat support functions, dramatically reducing the exposure to danger of human combatants. The versatile REX Mk. II (REX), the most compact field proven RAS, is designed to perform missions at the squad level with maximal efficiency.
REX is ELTA’s innovative unmanned hybrid electric all-wheel drive vehicle, which has optional amphibious capabilities. The REX features a highly developed suspension system that copes with mud, sand, deep snow, boulders, shrubs, and is capable of negotiating complex urban areas. It operates silently with a range of 70 km silently. With a load capacity of up to 1.5 tons this small, easily concealed platform is able to carry diverse payloads in support of a wide array of tasks. A unique multi mission configuration enables the various payloads to be quickly and easily mounted on the REX without the need for time consuming, a tremendous advantage in simplifying deployment under stressful combat conditions. The design enables sensors and weapons systems to be accommodated concurrently for maximized effectiveness and mission flexibility. Finally, the vehicle’s modest dimensions enable a single V-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft to accommodate two REXs together with accompanying sensors, weapons, ammunition and supplies.
As a world leading sensor house, ELTA equips REX with an incredible array of sophisticated systems. Target acquisition radar, day/night electro-optics (EO), and a hostile fire detector are integrated into a system that efficiently detects and classifies hostile personnel, vehicles and weapons fire. All potential targets are cued to the EO for additional validation, and then slewed to up to two remote weapons for immediate response. REX can be armed with a wide array of fire support weapons. Light, medium or heavy machine guns can be mounted for accurate and efficient fire support. Additional options include an ISR drone, IED detection system; and an intelligence gathering (SIGINT) payload. Finally, REX is designed with safety as a primary consideration. A unique system protects soldiers and other vehicles operating in close proximity.
Terrain navigation and obstacle avoidance abilities work together with ELTA’s proprietary Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning software to empower REX to perform complex tasks with complete autonomy. Secure communications, enable the REX to be operator controlled. Finally, a ‘follow me’ mode allows a lead vehicle or even a soldier on foot to guide an automated convoy through difficult, dangerous terrain.
REX, with its automotive performance, sophisticated robotic/autonomous capabilities, and extraordinary multi-mission weapons and sensors payloads, offers combat troops the ability to perform critical, complex tasks without exposing personnel to unnecessary dangers. REX Mk. II is ready to serve as a highly valued and trusted combat team member.