Israel has unveiled the ‘Barak’ tank as its newest military advancement powered by artificial intelligence (AI), promising a “new era” in combat capabilities.
“The Barak tank is very innovative – it takes our maneuverability to another level and is a clear expression of our technological capabilities,” Israeli Defense Minister (IMOD) Yoav Gallant said of the tank, whose name translates to “lightning”. . “
“I would like to express my appreciation to the engineers of the Tank and APC Command, the Israeli ground forces and everyone involved in the professional process,” he added.
The fifth-generation Barak tank introduces a 360-degree awareness capability, giving a comprehensive view of the battlefield. In a video that includes animated segments to demonstrate the tank’s capabilities, an IDF operator can identify targets both in front and behind his tank thanks to a specially designed helmet that helps him filter battlefield data.
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The tank also seamlessly communicates the information to another nearby tank, which can immediately respond to the data and identify the target.
Tank crews will have touchscreen devices to help them use “unique” applications that operators will become more familiar with over time.
The Barak also has “advanced observation and night capabilities” that allow tank crews to engage in close-range combat, thanks to improved and updated information gathering and sharing made possible by a new broad and reliable “sensor infrastructure” with ability to more accurately analyze soil.
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Israeli military commanders emphasized the continued value of tanks to the army, with IMOD Director General (reserves) Eyal Zamir calling the tanks “the backbone of the Armored Corps and ground combat.”
However, he noted that Barak created a “new era” for combat and a “breakthrough on the modern battlefield”.
Prison. Gen. Oren Giber, head of the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Defense Directorate, said the Barak sets a “very high level of technological excellence” for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) thanks to “a unique weapon system,” the “high quality” added in it technology and “built-in flexibility”.
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The cost of the tank remains unknown, but Defense News noted that officials equated it to the cost of the Merkava 4M, which costs about $3.5 million despite technological advances and additions to the Barak.
The Barak took five years to develop and mass production began last month. The unveiling of the tank comes about two decades after the introduction of the Merkava, which officials believe the Barak will replace by the end of 2025 in the 401st Brigade.
Officials also plan to produce “dozens” of tanks each year to further update the force.
“Over the past year, the 401st Armored Brigade has faced the absorption and assimilation of the Barak Tank into the brigade,” said Col. Benny Aharon, commander of the 401st Armored Brigade.
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“The brigade has invested in learning the tank’s capabilities against the nature of combat and its use in combat, training crew members and operators, and partnering the tank with other advanced anti-tank weapons.” he explained, adding that the brigade saw the addition of Barak as a “tremendous opportunity” to improve operational effectiveness.
“The 401st Armored Brigade views the Barak tank as a historic event and a national mission to win the next campaign,” he added. “We were privileged to be the first armored brigade to receive the Barak tank and therefore a great responsibility rests on our shoulders – our mission is to fulfill it with distinction.”