EUROSATORY 2022: Remote Control Weapon Stations Get AI Companion (UPDATED)

By Mikayla Easley

Nir-Or illustration

PARIS — Two Israeli companies are giving ground combat vehicles a situational awareness boost using artificial intelligence.

During the Eurosatory defense conference in Paris, Nir-Or and Axon-Vision unveiled the EdgeRCWS — an artificial intelligence system designed for remote control weapon stations. Developed jointly between the two companies, the system combines Nir-Or’s electronic video displays and AI built specifically for defense applications by Axon-Vision.

When integrated onto an armored fighting vehicle, the EdgeRCWS is uses sensors to scan the surrounding area while AI software identifies possible targets. The system then displays the targets for warfighters inside the vehicle.

Cooperation between Nir-Or and Axon-Vision is bringing in new capabilities for their customers, said Nir-Or CEO Roy Riftin on the sidelines of Eurosatory. These include making AI more lethal and improving the survivability of a fighting vehicle’s crew, all while making the decision making process more efficient, he added.

“We believe that, with good equipment and a little help from machines, you can do better things as human beings,” Riftin said.

EdgeRCWS is being showcased at the conference alongside Nir-Or’s advanced video system currently used by the Israeli Defence Forces in the Namer and Eitan armored fighting vehicles. The company recently announced it is including additional AI-enabled capabilities on the system in partnership with Axon-Vision, such as automatic target recognition, automatic tracking and smart scanning.

Both companies are focused on bringing the system into both new and legacy remote control weapon systems, said Ido Rozenberg, chief technology officer at Axon-Vision.

“Because both companies are in the nature of a start-up, we’re able to gain a lot of traction with a lot of companies in order to put our stuff inside them … because it takes a lot of flexibility and knowledge,” he said. “We bring our capabilities and our know-how in order to integrate those systems.”

Riftin noted the popularization of unmanned vehicles and manned/unmanned teaming across the world has also increased the demand for AI-enabled weapon systems, such as EdgeRCWS. In addition, the war in Ukraine and complexities of urban warfare has also prompted more need for AI.

“When you’re the soldier, you sit down inside under the closed hatch, and you have to count on what you see through the glasses — you surely can’t see that there is a man in a window or something like that,” he said. “The machine can do that much, much faster than your eyes."

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Nir-Or's CEO's name. It has been corrected.

Topics: Global Defense Market

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