RAMBOW: Israel unveils latest unmanned ground vehicle

The UGV can operate in a variety of homeland security and defense missions, putting Israel on the cutting age of autonomous machines used for defense.

The Rambow (photo credit: METEOR AEROSPACE)
The Rambow
(photo credit: METEOR AEROSPACE)
Israel’s Meteor Aerospace Ltd. unveiled RAMBOW, its latest unmanned ground vehicle, at the Autonomous Unmanned Systems and Robotics (AUS&R) 2017 Air Show in Rishon Lezion on Monday.
The air show was organized by iHLS, an enterprise dealing with Israeli homeland security.
Designed with a low silhouette for a range of defense and homeland security missions, RAMBOW can participate in a variety of missions such as ground warfare, intelligence gathering and logistical supply, as well as strategic facilities and border defense, with no risk to personnel.
“The RAMBOW is powered by a unique electrical drive system, integrating innovative power and autonomous driving technologies,” the company said.
The unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) has a rear bay that can carry up to 700 kg. and a forward mount that can carry a remote-controlled weapon station with a heavy machine gun, or other mission equipment.
It can carry a total payload of 1 ton and provides the operator with live video of its surroundings, using on-board cameras and a long-range electro-optical payload mounted on a telescopic mast, which can be raised to 3.5-meters high.
“RAMBOW and its mounted systems are connected to and controlled by a remote control station via a wide band data link,” the company said.
The RAMBOW can drive autonomously along predefined routes, automatically detecting and avoiding obstacles using numerous on-board sensors, reaching speeds of 50 kilometers/ hour. It can also travel more than 50 km. on its internal “silent” battery and over 160 km. using its on-board diesel generator that can charge the UGV’s batteries on the move.
The UGV uses a 6x6 electrical drive via special in-wheel motors, with each wheel independently hydraulically suspended and separately controlled by a drive by wire system. The independence of each wheel enables the vehicle to make on-the-spot turn maneuvers, negotiate a 60% forward slope and a 40% side slope, cross a 60-cm. ditch and overcomes obstacles as high as 40 cm.
Autonomous armed "robot tanks"
Meteor Aerospace, which was founded by former president and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries Itzhak Nissan, develops defense systems, including unmanned systems for land, air, sea – including an unmanned naval vessel that can operate automatically for more than 20 days – and long-range, precision strike weapon systems.
Unmanned ground vehicles have been a consistent feature of military operations since the beginning of the century, with thousands deployed in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
The IDF already operates UGVs for a number of missions such as border patrol, and delivery and logistics missions. Israel is at the forefront in innovative and technologically advanced unmanned vehicles, with the Defense Ministry Research and Development Agency recently unveiling a number of unmanned systems aimed to allow the IDF to outflank its enemies in all areas while minimizing the risk to its soldiers.