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Israel acquires unmanned swarming capability

Israeli company Xtend will supply its robotic operating system, which enables unmanned swarming, to the Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The USD20 million multi-year contract is part of a joint project with the Israeli MoD called ‘Urban Capsule', which seeks to accelerate and scale Xtend's Operating System (XOS), Ido Bar-On, vice-president of business development and sales for Xtend, told Janes on 16 January.

Urban Capsule will involve extending the operating system's ability to simultaneously control multiple semi-autonomous unmanned platforms by integrating third-party platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) software, thereby “breaking the limitations of how many robots or robotic platforms [can be controlled] simultaneously under a single operating system”, Bar-On detailed.

The company will also deliver “dozens of operational capabilities at the end of this programme”, he said. Overall, the project expects to advance the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operational arm while reducing risk, he added.

XOS is a human-guided solution that enables an operator to control multiple unmanned platforms intuitively with little or no training, Bar-On explained.

During the project, XOS will be trialled in an operational scenario that emulates the relevant environments for the IDF, which include austere urban environments and challenging electronic warfare conditions, he said.

In addition to the IDF, other customers are already using the company's XOS solution in a hybrid format. Portions of the XOS capability are also with another military for advanced evaluation, and the company has received strong interest from the British Army's Human-Machine Teaming (HMT) and Army Warfighting Experiment programmes, Bar-On detailed.

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