merkava 88 248.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Trophy missile defense system deployed with IDF armored units stopped an
antitank missile fired by gunmen near the Gaza Strip security fence on Tuesday –
the first time it was used during an IDF operation, and the first time a system
of this type was successfully battle-tested anywhere in the world.
IDF Spokesman’s Office reported that Trophy (known in Hebrew as “Meyil Ruah,” or
“Windbreaker”) managed to identify and disable the incoming missile, saying no
damage had been caused to the tank or its crew.
IDF tests Trophy anti-tank-missile system before deployment
“For the first time
during operational activity, the Trophy system alerted and intercepted a
missile,” the statement said.
Shortly afterward, IDF troops identified a
gunman in the area and opened fire, killing him at the scene.
News of the
401st Armored Brigade’s successful use of the Trophy system was greeted with
great fanfare in the IDF, which viewed the incident as “historic,” and
emphasized that it had been the first successful application of any system of
its type not only in Israel, but in any country’s armed forces.
in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for the missile attack on the
“Terrorist organizations are constantly operating to target Israeli
civilians and IDF soldiers,” the army said. “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and
for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”
Trophy made its debut in
August 2009, when the IDF declared it operational and began the process of
outfitting a battalion of tanks with the system. It is an active-protection
system that stops incoming projectiles by spraying a small blast of
buckshot-like material in their path. It was developed jointly by Rafael and
Israel Aerospace Industries.
A system of this type attained great
importance following the Second Lebanon War, during which IDF Merkava tanks were
repeatedly hit by anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah. It is currently being
installed on every new Merkava tank being produced.
earlier on Tuesday that the United States had completed a six-week test
evaluation of the system.Reuters contributed to this report.