Elbit Systems, through its US affiliate, will introduce its version of the Carmel vehicle for the US future armored vehicle program at the 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, DC. Additionally, Elbit Systems will introduce several other systems for the first time, including the X-Sight – a state-of-the-art helmet for helicopter pilots, the Iron First active protection system and night vision devices.
As stated, the primary showcase will involve the Carmel vehicle – a technology demonstrator, a part of IMOD's Carmel project which is also being promoted for the US military. The vehicle is offered with autonomous and AI capabilities to speed up decision-making and improve accuracy and crew response. Using Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMDs), a two men crew can operate the armored vehicle with hatches closed, which further improves performance characteristics and survivability. In a recent demonstration at Elyakim, the vehicle exhibited its ability to function as an independent attack cell, as a networked multispectral sensing and data fusion station and as a base platform for the employment of other unmanned systems.
The demonstrator is networked and can execute missions ordered by the command center and by other combat platforms, as well as assign missions and supply intelligence to other forces. Additionally, the vehicle can operate other unmanned platforms, such as drones, to feed intelligence into the battle status picture or Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) for high-risk missions.
X-Sight: a State-of-the-Art Helmet for Helicopter Pilots
Elbit Systems' X-Sight pilot helmet, to be showcased at AUSA, provides pilots, for the first time, with complete spherical vision, around and under the cockpit, in full color, day and night. Today, helicopter pilots are required to look outside the cockpit with one eye while receiving basic-quality visual flight data and night vision through the other eye, using a monocular device. A real-time sensor interface in and outside the helicopter, along with cutting-edge image processing and data fusion technologies make it possible to provide the pilots with the entire contents of the cockpit displays and the helicopter's environment on their helmet visor.
The X-Sight helmet provides a clear and easily readable graphic indication, on the helmet visor, of the flight course, color indications of possible obstacles like electrical poles, masts and high-tension lines, as well as a graphic depiction of the landing area that enables the pilots to land accurately and safely even under poor visibility conditions such as sandstorms, heavy fog and snowstorms. The X-Sight helmet significantly improves the pilots' ability to execute missions accurately and safely under extreme conditions.
(Elbit Systems' X-Sight helmet to be showcased at AUSA. Photo credit: Elbit Systems)
A Warfighter's Suit for the Networked Warfare Era
Against the background of warfare becoming networked, Elbit Systems will showcase at AUSA a set of four new wearable devices. Sources at Elbit Systems explained that the new devices provide a solution to the need of commanders and warfighters in infantry and specialist units to improve their interface with other warfighters, with the command and control systems and with external sensors, thereby substantially upgrading both their operational effectiveness and survivability.
The new set, which expands and enhances Elbit Systems' Dominator networked warfighter suit, includes four wearable devices announced recently: SmartEye – command and control goggles; Smart WristView – a command and control wristwatch; SmartSight – a command and control add-on device for firearm sights; and SmartNVG – a command and control add-on device for night vision devices.
(Elbit Systems' new wearable devices. Photo credit: Elbit Systems)
Iron Fist – an Active Protection System for Armored Vehicles
Another system Elbit Systems had already unveiled and will showcase in the USA for the first time is Iron Fist. This is an active protection system for armored vehicles against anti-tank weapons. The Iron First system utilizes electro-optical sensors, a surveillance radar, launchers and countermeasures to neutralize incoming threats at a safe distance away from the protected vehicle. Sources at Elbit Systems explain that the system provides 360-degree coverage against short-range threats, in open terrain as well as in urban environments. Its small dimensions and light weight, excellent performance characteristics, negligible collateral damage, versatility and easy operation make the Iron First system an optimal active protection solution for any armored combat vehicle.