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Israeli RPG Defense System Passes Live-Fire Test

The Trophy detected, tracked and knocked out an inert RPG fired at a moving Stryker armored car.
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Apr 20, 2006
A new Israeli-designed technology to protect armored military vehicles from rocket-propelled grenades was successfully tested in Virginia last week.

The Trophy Active Protection System developed by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority was put through live-fire tests conducted by weapons manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems in Dahlgren, Va., last week, the ISRAEL21c Web site reported Sunday. The Trophy detected, tracked and knocked out an inert RPG fired at a moving Stryker armored car using a small rocket automatically launched from the vehicle, the report said.

"Our mission is not to discover the 100 percent solution, but to find the best solution that can meet warfighter needs today," said Marine Corps Col. Wade Hall, in a General Dynamics news release after the test. "Currently, the warfighters' only counter to the RPG threat is armor, more armor and more armor.

"As demonstrated ... the Department of Defense now has at its disposal technology that allows U.S. Forces to defeat both the archer and the arrow."

Didi Ben Yoash, Business Development Manager of RAFAEL's Active Protection Systems division, told ISRAEL21c that the Trophy was developed as a result of the changing nature of urban conflict, as indicated by the U.S. military experience in Iraq.

"The whole concept of warfare has changed drastically. Traditional protection has been passive -- which means armor. But armor has a number of deficiencies. For one, armor makes many vehicles too heavy," Ben Yoash said. "Moreover, armor doesn't protect 360 degrees around the vehicle."

"With conventional warfare, we knew more or less where the enemy was -- which was right in front of you. With today's low intensity conflicts, threats are coming from all around -- from every direction, and we need the protection to be all around as well. To protect against weapons like the RPG, you need active protection, and the Trophy is a result of that," he added.

The Trophy system is a miniaturized version of the anti-ballistic missile system that automatically detects an incoming threat and launches an interceptor rocket that homes in on the missile and destroys it at a safe distance.

Designed to mounted on a fighting vehicle and provide a virtual bubble of protection, it includes rockets that are launched vertically and knock down the RPG round as it streaks toward the vehicle, the Web site said.

The Trophy is based on a system designed by an Israeli industry consortium headed by RAFAEL, including Israel Military Industries, and Israel Aircraft Industries/ELTA. After evaluating several systems available in the world market, General Dynamics entered into the agreement with the consortium and selected the system to offer to the U.S. Army and other customers. GD plans to introduce the system with every new and existing combat vehicle it produces, including Stryker, M-1A2 and FCS.

Ben Yoash told ISRAEL21c that the Trophy consisted of three major operational steps -- detection, tracking and interception.

"First the threat is detected by radar which covers 360 degrees around the vehicle via four antennas. In addition to detecting, the radar classifies and tracks the threat and determines if the threat is about to hit the vehicle," he said.

Once an incoming threat is detected identified and verified, a 'countermeasure assembly' is opened, which Ben Yoash called "the hard kill mechanism." The hard kill mechanism is positioned in the direction where it can effectively intercept the threat. Then, it is launched automatically into a ballistic trajectory to intercept the incoming threat at a relatively long distance.

According to Defense Weekly, the Trophy is designed to form a "beam" of fragments, which will intercept any incoming heat threat, including RPG rockets at a range of 32 feet to 100 feet from the protected platform.

Trophy was designed to effectively operate in a dense urban environment, where armored vehicles operate closely with integrated infantry forces. Therefore, direction, formation and energy of the fragments are designed to ensure effective target kill with low collateral damage, and low risk to nearby troops.

"This countermeasure hits the threat directly -- it doesn't explode around the threat -- so the collateral damage is minimal," Ben Yoash told the Web site.

Source: United Press International

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