Land Platforms

IAI reports UGV developments

18 October 2018

The Sahar IED detection and clearance UGV. Source: Israel Aerospace Industries

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced significant developments in two of its autonomous robotic systems.

The Sahar unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which detects and clears improvised explosive device (IEDs), has completed a development phase and is now due to undergo trial and evaluation processes by a customer IAI did not identify.

The Sahar is a 6×6 platform with hydraulic arms at the front fitted with a forked blade for digging up IEDS. The company said the Sahar integrates multiple sensors to detect IEDs hidden in complex areas and can "engage and remove them as necessary using the blade installed on the vehicle. The system operation, manoeuvre, and detection are done autonomously without danger to human life."

Meir Shabtai, general manager of the Robotic System Division, part of the Military Aircraft Group at IAI, told Jane's that the Sahar uses "unique payloads" that provide "relatively high speed and good detection of roadside IEDs".

Meanwhile, another system that converts Caterpillar bulldozers into autonomous engineering vehicles has received a procurement contract, IAI announced. It did not name the client but released a photograph showing an armoured D9 bulldozer, a type used extensively by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The system will be "commissioned for complex engineering tasks in threatened areas", IAI said, calling it a "significant military robotics contract reflecting the preparations undertaken for the challenges posed by the future battlefield".

The unmanned bulldozer is capable of construction, trail blazing in hard off-road conditions, and removing large or suspicious obstacles without risk to human life, IAI said.

The company added that it was awarded the contract "following a prolonged process of development and demonstrating the system's capabilities, including comprehensive tests of the technology's maturity and its efficient and safe integration in battlefield scenarios".

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