Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on Wednesday announced it has sold the US Army “Trophy” (a.k.a. “Windbreaker,” its IDF sobriquet) protection systems for vehicles in a deal worth $200 million.
The Windbreaker is an active protection system (APS) for military vehicles, which intercepts and destroys incoming missiles with a shotgun-like blast. Its principal purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavy armored vehicles.
Rafael has sold some 1,000 Windbreakers for use by all IDF ground combat platforms, as they provide combat-proven protection against anti-armor rocket and missile threats.
In June 2018, the US purchased the Trophy/Windbreaker systems for the first time, to be used by several Abrams tank divisions, at a cost of $193 million, and upon completion of both deals, all US Abrams tanks will be protected by Rafael’s system.
The system consists of sensors, search radar, four “antenna” boards, a shooting computer and an interceptor.
The radar scans 360 degrees around the vehicle, and as soon as it detects a threat, it analyzes it and launches metal spheres that break the attacker while it is still in the air.
This is the only operational system of its kind in the world that has been successfully used by the IDF in battle since 2011, providing survivability together with maneuvering capabilities.
There’s one significant problem with Rafael’s Windbreaker: it definitely lives up to the manufacturer’s claim of less than 1% failure, however, because of the blast that system generates, soldiers are unable to find shelter behind Windbreaker-equipped tanks as they proceed into battle.