Israeli startups are looking to export advanced military technology powered by artificial intelligence whose precision has improved from use in the Israel-Hamas war.

Edge 360, an AI camper system developed by Axon Vision, is installed in armored vehicles currently deployed in Gaza. The system identifies threats from all directions and warns the solider driving the vehicle. It helps speeds up decision-making by conducting analysis normally performed by soldiers.

Axon Vision was formed seven years ago and only started delivering the system to the Israel Defense Force just before the current conflict began in October.

“One of the advantages we have here in Israel with the Israeli army is that we have close relationship,” CEO Roy Riftin said in an interview at the company’s office in Tel Aviv. “We get feedback all the time.”

Axon Vision aims to further enhance the tech and export it, according to Riftin. The company is currently conducting market research, betting on global demand for modernizing armored vehicles, said Riftin.

The Orion mission support platform by Asio Technologies is being tested on the ground the first time in the Israel-Hamas war. Orion determines a target’s range and position using geographical data and aerial footage. The results provide soldiers with routes to approach a target that minimize an enemy’s lines of fire.

Orion can work in offline mode, so the platform is effective even when communication links are disrupted, according to Asio Technologies. The firm will make improvements based on lessons learned from the war, with the aim of exporting the product to friendly countries. An Asian country has expressed interest, said CEO David Harel.

SmartShooter is an up-and-coming tech firm that has drawn attention since the start of the war. The company supplies smart fire-control equipment for rifles that tracks a target to ensure a precise hit.

British soldiers have been undergoing training to shoot down drones using SmartShooter equipment attached to small arms, the BBC reported early this month.

There are many Israeli startups developing drone-related technology. InfiniDome has developed devices that can be fitted on drones to provide protection against jamming.

Many young people who served under Israel’s military conscription start businesses after being discharged. This cohort of entrepreneurs derive their strength from the connections and familiarity with technology gained during their time in the military.

The long-running conflicts with Palestinians and Iranian-linked militant groups have spurred the development of military technology in Israel. One engineer who works in research and development said the work was necessary “to save our own soldiers’ lives.”

On the other hand, the development of new military technology has raised concerns about increased casualties.

Late last year, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution expressing “serious challenges and concerns” about new military technology including those that use AI.

The IDF says it employs precision strikes in battle. But the large number of civilian casualties in the current conflict has drawn criticism from the international community. The overall death toll in Gaza has exceeded 32,000 since the war started, according to Gaza health authorities.

In particular, the resolution sounded the alarm on the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems. There is the risk of an emerging arms race and proliferation to non-state actors.

But countries can ill-afford to distance themselves from the development of military tech that can both counter threats and limit their casualties. There is a wide range of advanced dual-use technology that could be applied to civilian and military purposes. Many countries, including NATO members and Japan, are keeping a close eye on the unique technology possessed by Israel’s military industry.

Apart from startups, equipment developed by large, established Israeli defense contractors Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries are being deployed in the Israel-Hamas war. The technology includes that used in the Iron Dome air defense system and in the Trophy system designed to shield armored vehicles from antitank missiles.

Source: Nikkei Asia