Israel is concerned that a new anti-tank missile that Iran has begun
manufacturing will be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza
Strip, defense officials said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Iranian
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi inaugurated a new production line of the 73
millimeter missile, which he said has a range of over 1,000 meters and can
penetrate 300 mm. of reinforced steel, according to Iranian news
reports.RELATED:'Gaza gets anti-aircraft, anti-tank rockets from Libya'IAF ramps up drills against missile attack
Vahidi said during the ceremony the missiles could be launched
against tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC).
The anti-tank threat
is not new for the IDF, which suffered heavy losses to its tanks and APCs during
the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Following the war, the IDF sped up
development of the Trophy active protection system, which has already been
installed on a battalion of Merkava Mk 4 tanks and successfully intercepted a
rocket-propelled grenade along the Gaza Strip border earlier this
Hamas and Hezbollah are believed to already have a significant
arsenal of anti-tank missiles, supplied by Syria. One of the missiles is the
Russian-made Kornet, which penetrated an IDF tank along the border with Gaza in
On Monday, The Jerusalem Post revealed
the Defense Ministry
has decided not to install a missile defense system on the new Namer APC due to
Rafael and Israel Military Industries’ refusal to combine the active protection
systems that each company is independently developing into a single system for
The Trophy provides 360° protection against anti-tank missiles.
Its radar, made by Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta, detects the
threats and then fires a cloud of countermeasures to intercept the incoming
The other system, developed by IMI, is called Iron Fist, and in
addition to the Trophy’s capabilities, it is also reported to be capable of
intercepting standard tank rounds.