This is one straight from the files of, “Yeah, but can your truck do this?”
Ford’s popular ‘Super Duty’ moniker has taken on all new meaning as F-350s in Israel are converted into border defense trucks.
A 360-degree camera, mounted in the bed by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, can help pick out threats along the perilous Gaza border. Four driving cameras assist a remote operator in guiding the truck, which the Israeli Army calls a Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).
“This is the future. The border is a very dangerous place,” an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official told FoxNews.com. “Sending unmanned vehicles to do these patrols means that troops lives’ are not at risk.”
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), anti-tank missiles, snipers and terrorist tunnels make the Gaza border one of the most dangerous in the world.
Plans are in place to arm the trucks and to add semi-autonomous control by allowing a remote operator to program a truck’s route using map coordinates.
Remote drivers steer the trucks using a joystick, a steering wheel and pedals. Eventually, the trucks will be fully autonomous and equipped with weapons.
“We think at the beginning of next year, we will get a machine gun on the vehicle that will be operated from a control room – the machine gun will not be autonomous,” the IDF official said.
The Israeli Army plans on using more UGVs along its other borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.