US and Israel forge ahead in mobile missile defense

Rafael, recently signed on to the Israeli anti Kassam tender display some of their new anti RPG defense technology prowess.

All new Trophy system to protect Allied troops from RPG attacks while riding high in the Stryker.

Stryker APC
Soldiers from Battery B, 4th Battalion 11th Field Artillery Regiment patrol the entrance of Suliyahi Sabina Site in a Stryker light armored vehicle on May 8, 2005 Photo: US Dept. of Defense

The trophy anti RPG technology will be coming to the USA’s battlefield of the future Stryker armored personel carriers. These behemoths recently deployed to Iraq, and hungrily purchased by nations like Canada as a frontline alternative to battle tanks in more urban environments come in a whack of variants. They are part and parcel of the new structure being defined for American Armed Forces under the modernization plan of Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

From SpaceWar:

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."

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.

It’s a good bet that the Anti Kassam missile defence tender presented by Rafael is based on their successes with the Trophy, this miniaturization process is something to write home about.

With high profile attacks on US Forces and the armor outcry in the US, people seem to look at the humvee and think more armor, but we seem to overlook the fact that those are jeeps not tanks. Similarly the Stryker is not a tank either, layers of armor and weight are not nec. the solution, utilizing the mobility and a new fighting doctrine combined with advanced active protection systems seems like a good plan, cut Rumsfeld some slack. This is a major step forward to protecting forces from terrorists, the use of such a system on the bigger (biggest really) M1A main battle tank speaks loudly to the need to counter RPG and missile threats not just with armor alone.

Seems fairly evident with this trophy everyone wins.. Force protection is sexy again!

[tags]military, Israel, US[/tags]