At this week’s Association of the United States Army’s annual exhibition in Washington, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will present the newest version of the Trophy tank defense system. The exhibition is the defense industry’s largest event in the world.
The larger defense system, known as Windbreaker, has successfully been protecting Israeli tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers (APC’s) since 2009. The Windbreaker system has been combat-tested numerous times in various conflicts, both at distances and in close quarters, in military campaigns against Hamas in Gaza.
The newest version, dubbed Trophy LV, was developed to meet the defense needs of lighter vehicles maneuvering the battlefield. The system protects vehicles of all sizes, from small vehicles such as four-wheel-drive trucks to armored vehicles such as Hummers and jeeps, as well as infantry fighting vehicles.
According to Rafael’s website, the new system was designed to protect primarily against short-range threats. These generally consist of shoulder-fired weapons such as rockets or grenades. It is suitable for both traditional battlefield and urban warfare.
The system, which can be adapted to a range of platforms, is based upon the same technology as the larger Windbreaker system as well as the Iron Dome system.
The website continued to tout Trophy LV’s modular system, which combines radar and electro-optic sensors. The sensors ensure rapid detection and assessment capabilities and provide 360-degree protection for the vehicle on which it is mounted. The protection applies to windows and doors as well as the remainder of the vehicle’s body.
The demonstration is also set to feature a second Israeli system built by Rafael. The Mini Samson is a remotely controlled weapon station that allows a vehicle’s crew to launch Spike long-range anti-tank missiles at enemy targets, without exposing themselves to enemy fire. It too has been tested and used in combat situations.
Giora Katz, Rafael Executive Vice President and general manager of its Land and Naval Division, told Defense News how essential these systems are to the survival of troops confronting terrorists in urban warfare. “Every year, we get numerous reminders that it’s almost impossible to maneuver on the battlefield without an active protection system,” he said.
Katz also mentioned the battle-tested status of his company’s defense systems. “Hundreds of Trophy-equipped tanks participated in Protective Edge and the results were crystal clear,” he said.
He added, “When militaries and peacekeeping forces are facing millions of relatively cheap weapons in the hands of terrorists and other organizations, you’d better have some kind of protection, like Trophy, if you want to survive.”