Rising Interest in General Robotics Developed Smart RCWS ‘Pitbull’ Among European Nations


Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: The war in Ukraine has increased the interest of some European countries in Israeli made Remote Control Weapons Stations (RCWS). Some countries in Europe already use the systems and others are in different stages of negotiations.

Israeli company General Robotics has developed what it claims is the ideal RCWS dubbed Pitbull. When used on light platforms, such as commando and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), conventional RCWS fall short, as they are too heavy, power-consuming, and lack intuitive operation, thus becoming a liability rather than an advantage.

Pitbull, according to General Robotics is a smart RCWS, leveraging AI and a high level of autonomy to enable intuitive, remote operation on manned and unmanned platforms. Pitbull is designed to mount 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns, 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL), or 30X113 mm cannons. The system’s autonomy enhances the system’s operation on many levels – situational awareness, targeting, and engagement of moving targets and firing on the move.

The Israeli company says the Pitbull maintains constant, full awareness of its surrounding, regardless of the platform’s situation. Pitbull continuously tracks target, threat, and friendly forces positions. Pitbull does much more than sensing and control. As a smart AI-driven system, Pitbull uses video motion detection (VMD) and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) to automatically detect, classify, track, and designate targets. Using advanced pattern recognition and other algorithms, the system assesses target status, for example, designates an armed person or tracking a fleeting vehicle. This information can be used to prioritize and determine the course of action.

According to the company by using the system’s panoramic sensors, Pitbull maintains an autonomous situational awareness with a built-in Anti-Collision System (ACS) and multiple dynamic Fire Inhibiting Zones (FIZ), safeguarding the platform itself and nearby friendly forces. Optional integration with Hostile Fire Sensors (HFS) and Ground Surveillance Radar (GSR) is also optimized for unmanned operation. It enables Pitbull to alert hostile fire events and trigger responding measures accordingly. Rear video cameras for monitoring and managing weapons and ammunition flow allow the operator to remotely handle the weapon as if he is there.

General Robotics says that Pitbull can also be used as a counter-drone system (C-UAS). Leveraging its Smart-AI automation and a myriad of effectors for a soft and hard kill, Pitbull C-UAS operates a radar for target detection, EO sensors for target classification, recognition, targeting, and electronic jammers for ‘soft-kill’ and machine guns or AGS for the hard kill. Using airburst 40 mm grenades, the system can defeat drones from hundreds of meters away with a high probability.