Photo Credit: TROPHY image / Rafael YouTube screen capture
TROPHY in action

The U.S. Army has signed a $193 million contract to purchase the TROPHY missile defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and the Israel Aircraft Industries’ Elta Group, it was announced Wednesday.

The system, known in Hebrew as “me’il ruach” (windbreaker), is designed to protect tanks and other armored vehicles from missiles, rockets and other projectiles and is the only active defense system of its kind in the world.

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Declared operational in 2009, the system consists of a radar detection system that identifies incoming missiles and predicts their trajectories. The pellets explode the projectile before it reaches its target. It is already installed on hundreds of ground combat platforms in the IDF, including Merkava Marks 3 and 4, as well as the Namer armored personnel carriers. Rafael has also signed supply contracts for an additional 1,000 IDF platforms.

TROPHY has proven itself numerous times, especially during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Though vehicles sustained damage, no tanks were destroyed in the fighting.

Under the terms of the contract signed between Rafael and U.S.-based contractor Leonardo DRS, the system will be manufactured in the United States and Israel.

Leonardo DRS will provide the U.S. Army with the systems, which are to be installed on the M1 Abrams battle tank, Rafael said in its release.

“Leonardo DRS is proud to be a part of this important effort to bring life-saving technology to our warfighters, and we are actively investing to ensure TROPHY provides a solid, American-made foundation for the Army’s coming Vehicle Protection Suite program,” Aaron Hankins, of Leonardo DRS added in his statement.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.