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Trophy Active Protection System Ready For Deployment, Again

The Israeli military says that it’s Trophy active protection system, designed to shoot down incoming RPGs and anti-tank missiles, is ready for deployment, according to this AP story. Trophy is expected to be fitted to the Israeli Defense Forces large fleet of Merkava series main battle tanks and some models of heavy armored personnel carriers such as the Namer (based on the Merkava chassis).

The story quotes officials from Trophy manufacturer Rafael that the system has “passed” more than 700 live fire tests and has been installed on a number of Merkava 4 tanks in a pilot program. Of course, here is a story from way back in 2007 saying Trophy was ready for deployment.

The AP story gets a little carried away, quoting Israeli officials who say Trophy is a “game changer” in tank defense and could radically alter the balance of power if the IDF faces Lebanese Hezbollah’s vast anti-tank missile arsenal. That’s a big claim for any active protection system, but particularly this one that has been long in development and long on promises, that is not combat proven.

Developers say the Trophy can stop any anti-tank rocket in the formidable Hezbollah arsenal, which struck dozens of Israeli tanks and killed at least 19 Israeli tank crewmen during their month-long war. "We can cope with any threat in our neighborhood, and more," said Gil, the Trophy's program manager at Rafael.
That Trophy, and other active protection systems in development, can intercept and disrupt an incoming RPG warhead I don’t doubt. However, stopping a heavy anti-tank guided missile along the lines of a TOW or the Russian Kornet, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

-- Greg

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