Last year, the Israeli Ministry of Defence Research and Development Branch began using the tool to test the line of unmanned combat vehicles developed by local companies.
Shay Rootman, Director of Business Development at Cognata, told Defence Industry Europe that the company’s simulation tool has generated significant interest in Europe, especially after it was selected by the Israeli Ministry of Defence.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) believe in robotic systems, and more of these are being introduced into service. Last year, the Israeli Ministry of Defence selected Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to fully develop the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) next-generation fighting vehicle – the Carmel. IAI has been chosen as the prime contractor and integrator for developing the concept and technologies for the future Armored Fighting Vehicle for the IDF.
IAI has developed and proven a combat concept in which an AFV, operated by a two-man crew, can successfully cope with existing and future challenges on the battlefield. This solution is based on automatic and autonomous systems that complement the two-man team and operate the central subsystems, including the vehicle’s mission planning and management, situational awareness, driving, and lethality. These capabilities allow the team to define, supervise, and interfere only when necessary, covering a wider area of concern while effectively meeting the challenges faced by the maneuvering forces. The system has the ability to locate and destroy time-sensitive targets with small footprints through quick acquisition and effective engagement of targets.
Aside from IAI, Elbit Systems and Rafael also proposed their concepts, which were also tested. While the currently selected type is manned, the long-range plan is to give these combat vehicles the capability for autonomous action. To do that, the Cognata simulation tool is essential.
Systematic testing of autonomous vehicles can be performed in sensor simulation or in the physical world. Physical tests offer real testing scenarios, and engineers can use actual vehicles instead of models. However, regulations restrict the use of these vehicles in cities, requiring access to expensive hardware and field tests, which consume a considerable amount of time.
The Cognata tool is based on a “Digital Twin” of the real world, built using HD maps, aerial photography, and other inputs that add to the “reality” of the simulation.
“We give the client almost 100 percent of possible scenarios so that he can be assured that his vehicle has been able to counter all of them,” Rootman said.