‘Barak’ tank; the tank of the future of the IDF Unveiled

The Israel Defence Forces has unvieled its Barak tank, the tank of the future with major features.The Tank and APC Directorate in the Ministry of Defense, the Israeli Ground Forces, the Armored Corps and the 401st Armored Brigade in the IDF, have deveoped this following over five years of development and production process.

Sensing and front-end processing capabilities based on artificial intelligence, the ability to reveal the enemy and create targets for combat troops on the battlefield, full combat in closed ranges based on 360-degree peripheral observation and a “pilots” helmet for the commander, multi-touch screens, advanced operation controllers, adaptation to changing combat situations and improved survivability – these are just some of the capabilities of the new tank that was recently brought to service in the IDF.

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant: “It is very meaningful that during the period when we mark 50 years since the ‘Yom Kippur War’, and the heroic battles fought during this war by the soldiers of the Armored Corps in defense of our country- we receive further proof of the relevance and power of the tank as an essential tool. The Barak tank is very innovative – it takes our maneuvering capabilities to another level, and it is a clear expression of our technological capabilities. I would like to express my appreciation to the engineers of the Tank and APC Administration, the Israeli Ground Forces and all those involved in the professional process.”

The 5th generation Barak, the first battle tank of the IDF, was developed by the Tank and APC Directorate in the Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with the Weapons Department of the Israeli Ground Forces and the Armored Corps. The tank incorporates systems from Elbit Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the ELTA Systems Ltd. of Israel Aerospace Industries, and additional defense industries from Qiryat Shemona to Mitzpe Ramon. The first mass-produced Barak Tanks were received this month in the 52nd Battalion of the 401st Armored Brigade and will become the main battle tanks of the Armored Corps and weapon systems for deciding maneuvers.

The exposure, operation and processing capabilities of the Barak will cause a dramatic change on the battlefield. The commander will be equipped with a combat helmet developed by “Elbit Systems”, similar to pilot helmets, which will display on the lens all of the relevant combat data, when they are anchored in the combat space. The system will allow 360-degree scanning by moving the head and locating targets in real time with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. To this will be added an improved tank and artillery sight with advanced observation and night capabilities, with an improved net cross. New capabilities that will allow the tank crew to fight in closed ranges, with better protection throughout the entire battle, partly thanks to the advanced defense system ‘WindGuard” manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, whose role is to deal with anti-tank missiles. The tank’s fire capabilities have also undergone a significant upgrade.

The Barak Tank will enhance the capabilities needed to expose an enemy and will enable combat against an enemy with a low profile and in all combat situations on the current and future battlefield, against the set of threats that exist for the maneuvering force. The Barak will be equipped with a commander’s sight and a gunner and with continuous and up-to-date intelligence collection, fusion and sharing capabilities. The Barak will allow the battalion combat team to fight continuously at a fast pace while exposing the enemy, combined with the activation of independent, organic or spatial fire, which will increase the achievements of the combat team. The “Barak” Tank has capabilities and means to close circles of fire between all the forces fighting on land and in the air, in a way that will reduce time and increase accuracy in battle.

The Barak Tank will have the ability to quickly produce and extract information and transfer it to strike assemblies, as part of a target bank, as well as the ability to transfer intelligence in real time between the branches. For this purpose, the Barak Tank was equipped with a wide and reliable sensor infrastructure, which will allow it to grasp an area in a more extensive way, acquire targets in the environment and close circles of fire in short and precise times. The Barak Tank will be equipped with advanced connectivity capabilities for other tanks and weapons on the battlefield. The Barak Tank will also be equipped with touch screens, similar to smartphone devices and the use of unique applications with simple operation for the future recruiting generations, which will allow easy and accessible operation for the tank crew.

The restoration and maintenance center in the Technological and Logistics Directorate (J4) is the body entrusted with the production of the Barak Tank. From steel plates into a powerful tank that constitutes a significant part of land maneuvering,

The restoration and maintenance center takes a significant part in the project and enables the production of the most advanced tanks in the world and their delivery directly to the operational end.

IMOD Director General, MG (res) Eyal Zamir: “For the past four decades, Merkava Tanks have formed the backbone of the Armored Corps and on ground fighting, today we are entering a new era on the ground’s battlefield, the era of the Barak. The Barak Tank is the most advanced combat machine of its kind In the world, which will bring to the IDF, the Israeli Ground Forces and the soldiers of the Armored Corps fire capabilities, AI, intelligence, connectivity between tools and active defense, a break through on the modern battlefield. I congratulate the engineers of the Tank and APC Administration, the experts of the Armored Corps, the Israeli Ground Forces and the Merkava Industries, who made the technological leap together. On this occasion, it is necessary to mention “Talik” MG, Israel Tal who began the development and building of Israel’s Merkava Project and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff during the Yom Kippur War, thanks to his vision, today we are privileged to inaugurate the fifth generation of battle tanks of the Merkava model.”

Commanding Officer of the Israeli Ground Forces, MG Tamir Yadai: “The Barak Merkava Tank is a source of pride and an expression of the strength of the IDF, the Ministry of Defense, the Tank and APC Administration and the defense industries in Israel. The Barak Tank incorporates ground-breaking technologies, which enable soldiers of the Armored Corps unique defense and attack capabilities which improve maneuverability tremendously. The reception of the Barak Tanks alongside the Eitan AFV and the Namer is part of the processes of equipping ourselves with the best and most adapted tools that will allow the Israeli Ground Forces to operate at a high rate of operations and significantly reduce the attrition ratio”.

Head of the Ministry’s Defense Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate, Brig. Gen. Oren Giber: “In the development of the Barak, Israel sets a very high standard of technological excellence. A battle tank that is a unique weapon system, based on a high-quality sensing array, artificial intelligence engines and an adapted and intuitive operating interface. The Barak Tank was designed based on a concept of anti-fragility, with the aim of providing the IDF soldiers a weapon system with built-in flexibility, which will allow them to win in all combat situations. I am proud of the genius of the development and the strength of the commitment of the people of the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate, the weapon system division of the Israeli Ground Forces and of the Israeli defense industry, which is unparalleled in the world, and I wish to bless the soldiers of the Armored Corps with the blessing that they have risen and succeeded, because it is also clear to us, the developers of the Armored Combat Vehicles, that today, as in the past, it is the man in the tank who will win.”

Commanding Officer of the Armored Corps, Brig. Gen. Hisham Ibrahim: “A few days before a new year, and in the 50th year mark of the Yom Kippur War, the Armored Corps is equipping itself with the Barak Tank, which is the pride of the Israeli industry, a tank that is an Israeli design. In my eyes, this is far more exhilarating, that in the year in which we celebrate the heroism of the 1973’s generation of the soldiers of the Armored Corps, who stopped the attacks of the Arab armies with their bodies, demonstrated bravery and a fighting spirit worthy of mentioning, this is a historic event. The Barak Tank is based on breakthrough technologies. Combining these technologies with the quality of our people, the soldiers of the Armored Corps, will result in a tremendous advantage in continental superiority, and in defeating our enemy in the following systems. I am proud of the privilege to be at the head of the corps at such a historic moment.”

Commanding Officer of the 401st Armored Brigade, COL Beni Aharon: “In the last year, the 401st Armored Brigade dealt with the absorption and assimilation of the Barak Tank into the brigade. The brigade invested in learning the capabilities of the tank against the nature of combat and its use in battle, in the training of the crew members and those in charge, and in the cooperation of the tank with other advanced anti-tank weapons, such as the Namer and the Engineering Namer. The absorption of the tank is a tremendous opportunity to improve operational effectiveness in preparation for the next campaign and a significant force multiplier for the IDF, the Israeli Ground Forces and the Armored Corps. The 401st Armored Brigade sees the Barak Tank as a historic event and a national mission for victory in the next campaign. 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.”