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Monday, December 4, 2006

IDF tanks to be fitted with Trophy anti-missile systems

IDF tanks to be fitted with Trophy anti-missile systems
By Amos Harel Haaretz 4 December 2006

The Israel Defense Forces will begin equipping its tanks with an advanced,
active protection system capable of countering the latest anti-tank

The locally developed system, known by its export name as Trophy, will be
installed on Merkava Mark IV tanks, partly in response to the experience of
the recent war in Lebanon.

The new defense system creates a "canopy" that surrounds the tank,
identifies the threat of the incoming anti-tank missile, and destroys that
missile's warhead before it strikes.

The Rafael Armament Development Authority offered Trophy to the IDF several
years ago, but the suggestion was turned down then due to other budgetary

The cost of installing the system on a single tank is estimated to be
$200,000-$300,000, if a significant quantity is acquired.

While initially the system will be installed on tanks, the possibility is
being considered of also using the Trophy system on armored personnel
carriers (APCs).

The United States is also considering the use of the Trophy on its Stryker
fighting vehicles.

During the recent war in Lebanon, Hezbollah's anti-tank missiles damaged
dozens of IDF tanks; others were totally destroyed. The more sophisticated
anti-tank missiles, such as the French Matis and the Russian Kornet, are
capable of penetrating the armor of the Merkava Mark IV, which is considered
to be the most heavily armored tank in the world.

There are some final touches left to be made on Trophy before it becomes
fully operational.

Major General Benny Gantz, commander of the ground forces, confirmed the
acquisition, but the matter still requires the approval of the General

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