Three years ago, Israel launched its Carmel advanced armored fighting vehicle program, an initiative designed to develop the military’s “tank of the future.”
On Sunday, Israel demonstrated three prototypes of the Carmel — and based on that demo, the future of military combat might involve more game console-style controllers.
Israel asked three defense contractors — Elbit, Rafael, and Israel Aerospace Industries — to design their own versions of the Carmel, and each company had a slightly different take on the tank.
Elbit’s version provided soldiers with helmets that display a feed from cameras and sensors on the tank’s exterior, while Rafael’s version featured a “breakthrough panoramic design,” The Jerusalem Post wrote in a story on the tanks.
But only Israel Aerospace Industries’ Carmel prototype had soldiers using a Xbox-like joystick to control the war machine.
This isn’t the first time a military has turned to gaming for hardware solutions — sailors have been using an Xbox controller to direct a $2.7-billion attack submarine for the U.S. Navy since at least March 2018.
That’s because the devices are cheaper than custom-built controllers and soldiers are often already familiar with how they work. Now, the fact that Israel is considering an Xbox-esque controller for its Carmel tank could be a sign that the devices are becoming a regular option for military operations.
READ MORE: Defense Ministry unveils 3 prototypes for Israel’s tanks of the future [The Times of Israel]
More on Xbox controllers: Sailors Use Xbox Controllers to Operate Part of the Navy’s Newest Attack Sub