מעיל רוח: המערכת ששינתה את שדה הקרב
המוצר: מערכת הגנה לרכבים קרביים
החברה: רפאל וחברות נוספות
תחילת הפיתוח: 1987
Product: Defense System for Combat Vehicles
Company: Rafael in collaboration with other companies
Start of Development: 1987
The IDF started using armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) in the 1980s. According to contemporary assessments, enemy forces would respond by trying to hit AFVs with advanced anti-tank weapons. As a result, in 1987, it was decided that the development of an innovative, active defense system would be launched, aimed at identifying, intercepting, and destroying missiles before they hit armored vehicles.
This challenging mission was assigned to Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd., a state-owned company founded in 1948, which has been developing and manufacturing combat systems since its establishment. In the following years, a team including hundreds of engineers led by three winners of the Israel Defense Prize worked on the development of the system to be named Trophy.
Throughout the development process, Rafael faced many innovational challenges on a global scale, such as mounting radar systems on tanks while still allowing them to operate in a combat environment, as well as developing a cutting-edge, fast, sophisticated command and control monitoring system. In a process that can take a fraction of a second, the Trophy system identifies the threat launched towards the tank or the AFV, and then calculates whether it is going to hit the vehicle.
If calculations predict projectile impact, the system fires an interceptor projectile and destroys it. Trophy does not merely intercept the incoming projectile – it tracks the location of the enemy’s anti-tank forces, allowing the tank to execute a
Before the deployment of the Trophy system, the Israeli Armored Corps was vulnerable to anti-tank missiles and to other advanced projectiles with increasingly improved capabilities. Consequently, many soldiers were killed, and the ability of tanks and AFVs to carry out their missions was compromised.
This system changed entirely when the system was declared operational in 2010 and performed its first intercept in the Gaza Strip the following year. Staff at Rafael report that after Trophy’s first interception, they received phone calls from mothers of soldiers who were in the tank during the intercept. They were calling to personally thank Rafael for having saved their sons’ lives.
Today, Trophy is the only operational system in the world that offers optimal protection against a wide range of presentday anti-tank threats. It has also been adapted for light and medium vehicles, so that today, almost any vehicle engaged in combat can be equipped with the system.