An Israeli defense firm made headlines this week showcasing their new line of up-armored, all-terrain combat vehicles.
The company — Carmor Integrated Vehicle Solutions — is planning to unveil its new line of Mantis armored vehicles at the Eurosatory 2018 defense trade show in Paris next week.
The Mantis vehicles come in four variations that are customized to seat anywhere from three to more than eight riders, according to a press release from Carmor, which has equipped Israel Defense Forces with vehicles since 1947.
Engineers who designed the Mantis family of vehicles boast that the 4x4 and 6x6 Mantis vehicle variants can be adapted to be anything from mobile command and control nodes to cruising mortar trucks.
“We built a modular base that allows fitting for a multitude of activities such as reconnaissance, attack, intelligence, command, close assistance, relay and medicine,” Carmor CEO Eitan Zayit said in an interview with Israeli news outlet Ynet.
“We therefore chose a sort of ‘shielding capsule’ that also serves as chassis, and allows to provide the required level of shielding while integrating a high degree of dynamism thanks to its relatively low weight,” Zayit added.
The surge in interest among the world’s ground forces in light combat vehicles can’t be understated. Military forces are searching for ways to keep mechanized troops highly mobile, while dealing with the increased proliferation and lethality of improvised explosive devices.
Using a common platform, riders “can benefit from four unique Mantis variants, a double cabin pick-up with [five] seats, a single cabin with [three] seats and a huge pick-up, an enclosed capsule, with [eight] seats and an open buggy. All using the same common platform,” according to the company’s website.
The vehicle’s provide drivers with a wide field of vision for combat, as well as customization in terms of weapons payloads. Many vehicles shown in official pictures and videos appear to have a mounted .50 caliber machine gun that appears remote-operated from inside the Mantis.
This system would be similar to the Common Remotely Operated Weapon System, or CROWS, often mounted on American military gun trucks.
The family of Mantis vehicles can also be upgraded with night vision systems, missile launchers, mortars and other turrets, the company said.
“A rear centered engine is the basis of the Mantis superb stability and reduces the engine heat emission making it more difficult for heat seeking devices,” according to Carmor.
A U.S. vehicle that offers a similar mission to the Mantis would be the Oshkosh M-ATV. However, M-ATVs, while wide-spread among U.S. forces, look much larger than the Mantis. Carmor appears to be going for a more dynamic, compact version of the M-ATV for military bidders.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.