Exposure: Rafael, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industries (IMI) agreed to jointly develop the next generation of active defense system for vehicles. The new development will be a combination of a "Trophy" system by Rafael and IAI and an "Iron Fist" system by IMI. The main contractor for the integrated development will be Rafael; IMI and IAI will be subcontractors.
IMI CEO Avi Felder tells about the dramatic decision for the first time, in a fascinating interview to be published in full in the new issue of Israel Defense, which will be published in a few days.
Felder says that after years of discussions, it was decided to combine the various systems. The radar will be of IAI's Elta factory, the interceptor of IMI, and the integration work and development of the system will be performed by the main contractor, Rafael. The new interceptor, by IMI, is based on an anti-missile missile, as opposed to metal pellets that spread over a wide area, as is the case in the "Trophy" system which is considered the world's first first-generation active protection system .
The body that pushed for the combination of the systems is the Ministry of Defense, and the three defense companies have agreed in recent days on the cooperation, within a commercial framework to be determined by the companies soon.
Israel Defense recently revealed in an interview with the head of Rafael's Land Systems Division, Giora Katz, that following Operation Protective Edge there is a tremendous interest in the active defense system for vehicles – "Trophy".
Katz said that "the active protection further highlights the new arenas emerging worldwide. The assumption is that the arena that we have encountered in Protective Edge, is just the 'promo' for similar threats other armies will encounter at a later point, therefore it is very acute for other armies as well.
"I feel very uncomfortable calling 'Protective Edge' a 'sales promoter', but it is clear that the success of the active defense in this confrontation, the Iron Dome against rockets and the 'Trophy' against anti-tank missiles, gives us a great boost. We received a lot of compliments and there is a great interest specifically in the Trophy".
Katz added, that while in the past there have been successful interceptions by the "Trophy" system, in routine activity against Gaza, "Protective Edge" counts as a breakthrough because it is the first time in military history where an active defense system has proven itself in intense fighting.
"We are very pleased with the results," says Katz. "Dozens of tanks have been exposed to thousands of militants and the system performed flawlessly. None of the vehicles were injured and there were no false alarms. It was a technological achievement of Rafael and MAFAT and all the parties can be very proud of this too".
Katz notes that Rafael developed the "Trophy" in cooperation with Elta of IAI, which provides the radar tracking after the attacking missile.