Trophy and the Iron Fist 30

There is no power greater than brain power, and Israel has it.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Antitank rockets … had been the bane of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) Armored Corps. Until now, the answers had been increasingly thick steel protective plates for the tanks to literally dull the blow. But improved rockets proved essentially able to penetrate any shield and there are limits to how much armor can be piled on a tank without impeding its movement.

Realizing how deadly portable hollow-pipe devices can be, both Hamas and Hezbollah stocked up on them, amassing colossal arsenals. In the Second Lebanon War in 2006, dozens of Israeli tanks were struck, 19 crewmen were killed and others wounded.

But while Israel’s enemies were arming themselves to the teeth, Israel’s scientists … were busy re-accentuating the country’s qualitative military edge, which had sometimes appeared to be fading.

They have invented a new missile interceptor called Trophy.

The first time it was used in the field, this is what happened:

It happened so quickly and functioned so flawlessly that the IDF tank crews doing routine duties last Tuesday near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip frontline didn’t even notice anything unusual.

They didn’t immediately realize that they had just witnessed history in the making and that the lives of a fourman crew had been spared when the miniature Trophy system, fixed onto all tanks in the Gaza sector, recognized that a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) had been launched at one of the tanks.

Trophy intercepted the RPG with a neutralizer and blew up the incoming projectile in mid-air, with no harm wrought to either the tank or to the corpsmen in its belly.

(Pronounced cor-men, President Obama.)

The system quickly reloads in a fully automated process. It’s “smart” enough to hold fire if an RPG is about to miss its target. Moreover, the explosion it sets off is so small that friendly-fire casualties are highly unlikely.

The Trophy is perceived as the harbinger of the future in ground warfare, being the first operational active defense system, and capable of granting Israel a new strategic advantage.

Trophy will be available to Israel’s allies.

The Trophy’s premiere matters not only for Israel but globally. This was the first time that antitank fire had been successfully intercepted under real combat zone conditions, as distinct from controlled trials. The implications both to Israel and its allies cannot be overestimated.

Rocketry that is easy to carry is a favorite weapon for terrorists and a whole host of irregulars [such as] the roadside-ambushers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Trophy could radically alter the balance of power on both the Lebanese and Gaza fronts and it could become crucial for US and allied forces battling al-Qaida and associated insurgents.

And there’s more to come:

[Trophy] is not alone. In the works is the Iron Fist, an antimissile defense that is being custom-designed for armored personnel carriers. Its jamming capabilities can swerve an oncoming rocket off course, or it can detonate it with shock waves.

Lots more is being concocted in Israeli labs, workshops and testing grounds. Despite our proven penchant for fault-finding and self-deprecation, this is a fitting occasion for unstinting collective pride. Our defenses and those who man them are, mercifully, a little more secure today in the face of our enemies.

It seems likely then that those massive stockpiles of heavy pipes, those colossal arsenals of RPGs, so painfully assembled in Gaza by smuggling pieces through tunnels, will soon have no more value than any old pile of scrap metal. Unless Hamas puts them to use against fellow Arabs, which is more than likely.