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A new unmanned system for armoured personnel carriers (APCs) is to supply solutions for operational challenges in combat situations and to protect the lives of field operators. The Israeli Ministry of Defense has recently published the documentation of a successful series of experiments, where the mini-turret unmanned system fired rockets at practice targets. The system is made up of designated control units that enable the operation of the unmanned turret, which is situated on top of the APC, from the relative safety of the crew cabin. In the experiment, the system has fired the Gil rockets, designed and produced by the Israeli Rafael company.
The program for developing the system is led by the Tank Administration Program (Mantak) which also leads the development of the Eitan APC, meant to come into use by the different infantry units in the following years. A significant portion of all new APCs will be equipped with the new system, to increase the safety of combat operators. For this reason the system was developed in such a way that would allow for its future installation on the Namer APC, which was also developed by the Mantak.
The series of recent experiments was accomplished using the Namer APC. After this was successfully concluded, it was reported that this was the last stage in the integration of the Gil rocket to the new unmanned system.
Tsvi M., head of accurate tactical weapons department in Rafael, said that the ability to combine these rockets in the unmanned turrets of the Eitan and Namer APCs gives these vehicles a significant operational advantage in combat situations, in accurate firing for long distance targets, and in many combat scenarios in different fighting zones. This according to mako.co.il.
The Gil’s integration into the unmanned system will allow IDF combat operators to launch the rockets from within the crew cabins of the APCs, which will significantly increase the hitting range of the vehicles while decreasing risks for crew members.
The Gil rocket is an anti-tank array made by Rafael. More than 30,000 units were already exported to more than 30 different armies around the world. The rocket has a fire and forget capacity, enabling control of the rocket after launch, which is also accompanied by video documentation.
The next version, Gil-2, will allow firing without having clear line of sight to the target, which means that the APC could launch the rockets from a back slope without being exposed to the enemy, this according to globes.co.il.