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Israel to deploy machine gun-equipped autonomous vehicles along Gaza border

IDF's Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) which it plans to deploy along the Gaza border
IDF's Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) which it plans to deploy along the Gaza border

Israel is set to use fully autonomous unmanned vehicles along the border with the Gaza Strip, according to a  report published by FoxNews.com.

While currently unarmed, the Israeli military plans to add machine guns to the so-called Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) by “the beginning of next year”.

An unnamed Israeli military official told the website: “This is the future – the border is a very dangerous place… Sending unmanned vehicles to do these patrols means that troops’ lives are not at risk.”

According to the report, the Israeli army has worked with defence giant Elbit Systems to convert Ford pick-up trucks into UGVs by adding “specialised remote driving technology”, along with “four driving cameras and a 360-degree observation camera.”

UGV testing reportedly began in July 2015 and the trucks “became operational in February [2016].”

While each vehicle is currently “driven by an operator in a remote control room using a steering wheel, joystick and pedals”, an army official told FoxNews.com that “in the future, we will have the capability of fully autonomous driving.” The machine gun “will be operated from a control room.”

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