In a series of field trials over the past few months in the Negev conducted by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. more than 300 missiles of all types were intercepted by Israeli defense electronics company's new lightweight version of the Trophy anti-tank missile protection system. Rafael has unveiled the new Trophy version at the 2018 AUSA US Army exhibition in Washington this week.
During the Negev trial, witnessed by 120 military technical experts from the US, NATO and other countries, the new lightweight Trophy system was mounted on a US Bradley fighting vehicle. Rafael says that in the ensuing trial, the Trophy system had a 95% success rate in intercepting missiles, rockets and RPGs fired at the Bradley.
The original Trophy system was first unveiled in 2010. In subsequent military campaigns in Gaza, the system has been highly effective in protecting rockets fired at Israeli tanks. The new version is 40% lighter and smaller than the original protection system, meaning it can be fitted on smaller fighting vehicles.
In June, the US Army decided to procure $193 million worth of the Trophy systems to protect the Abrams tank. These systems have also been installed on all Israel's Merkava Mark III tanks and Namer armored personnel carriers. The US Army is likely to make a decision next year to equip its APCs with the lighter-weight Trophy system in a deal worth several hundred million dollars.
Rafael's Israeli defense electronics rival Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) will also compete for the US contract with its Iron Fist protection system developed by IMI Systems (IMI), which Elbit is set to acquire. Despite successful trials, Israel's Ministry of Defense did not choose to equip IDF vehicles with Iron Fist, which is now seeking export markets.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 10, 2018
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