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"The proven effectiveness of the Israeli breakthrough is a game-changer"

I'm hoping this news coming out of Israel is as promising as it seems:

Trophy.jpgIt 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.

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'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 - from Hamas and Hezbollah on our own doorstep to the roadside-ambushers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Trophy (known locally as Me'il Ruah - windbreaker in Hebrew) 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.

The proven effectiveness of the Israeli breakthrough is a game-changer and as such is extremely good news - not only for us.

Read the whole piece.  It's hope and change to believe in.

H/T Dan Friedman in email.


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Comments (16)

The 'wind breaker'? ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The 'wind breaker'?

Wow, the jokes that could be done with that. "Dude, the windbreaker farted!" "Be glad it farted, or you'd have another hole in your... tank!"

Seriously, good job on the tech, guys. Making a feared weapon class (RPGs, EFPs) ineffective is a great way to go.

I love my Israeli Brothers!... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

I love my Israeli Brothers!

We need that technology for our young men & women... now let's see, what can we trade?

A respectful pRESIDENT would be a great start, I think you and I can get to work on that one.

Trophy has been around for ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Trophy has been around for a some time now. The pentagon was prevented from buying them during the Iraq war. Instead Raytheon was awarded a $70 million contract to build a similar device from scratch, eventhough it meant they couldn't be built in time to help in Iraq.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14686871/ns/nightly_news-nbc_news_investigates/

If raytheon got 70 million ... (Below threshold)
dunce:

If raytheon got 70 million to build something that could be bought already developed, they must have failed because we have not deployed such a weapon system or we would have heard about it. The question remains ,why are we not buying the system now. We went through this with UAVs,the israelis were the first to develop a functiong UAV. We saw many videos of spectacular crashes of our attempts to develop a UAV.

Oh, hot damn. No... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Oh, hot damn. Now tell me that military R&D should be cut.

I hope that the Pentagon is talking RIGHT NOW to Israel about this--Our troops in Iraq and A-stan do too, I'd bet.

How many times have compani... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

How many times have companies gone out on their own to 'develop' something that they could just have easily purchases 'off the shelf'?

Ooops, my bad. How many times have GOVERNMENT AGENCIES .............

Yes this system has been ar... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Yes this system has been around and in development for some time. Like any technology it was the matter of working out the bugs.

The problem with buying systems instead of technology or developing the technology yourself is you become reliant on the supplier. Also future advancements are dependent on the supplier not to mention replacements parts. Suppliers usually don’t give up its best systems either. Soviets and the U.S. usually sell order designs. One of many examples is the U.S. selling the F15c instead of F15e to allies.

Wayne, while I agree with e... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Wayne, while I agree with everything you said, I still think we should have bought some from Isreal in addition to building our own.

The problem with jumping to... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

The problem with jumping to the conclusion that we should have bought these from Israel is that the vast majority of us know little, if anything, about the technology that goes into such systems. The article Tina linked to didn't just say that we should be buying this up like hotcakes. There was a counter argument there too. Who's right? I don't know. And neither does Tina.

The fact that they just had their first "in the field" success tells me that it would have been rash to buy the system years ago. If it had not worked out then we'd be screaming bloody murder about all the money wasted on a failed system.

The fact that they just ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

The fact that they just had their first "in the field" success tells me that it would have been rash to buy the system years ago. If it had not worked out then we'd be screaming bloody murder about all the money wasted on a failed system.

While none of us has enough information on the system to say definitively that we should or should not have purchased them. They performed well on tests conducted by the Pentagon.

And officials with the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT) agree. Created in 2001 by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, OFT acts as an internal “think tank” for the Pentagon and is supposed to take a more entrepreneurial — and thereby less bureaucratic — approach to weapons procurement and other defense issues, and to get help to troops in the field more quickly. OFT officials subjected Trophy to 30 tests and found that it is “more than 98 percent” effective at killing RPGs.

An official involved with those tests told NBC that Trophy “worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.”

Above quote if from the MSNBC article.

I believe they were testing... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I believe they were testing this system or something very similar on some of the vehicles in Iraq. I’m not sure how the tests turn out. One problem with the U.S. in such procurements is once one person has it then the thought is especially among liberals that everyone should have them. That cost a great deal of money. Liberals and some so call conservatives will first scream that “everyone” needs the best of everything then scream we need to cut military spending.

It may sound cold but financial considerations need to be taken into account. I wouldn’t skimp but think there can be a great deal smarter approach in ways things are allocated. That means there will be a screw up at times which doesn’t seem political viable when it comes to the military.

“Rafael believes that the U... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

“Rafael believes that the US wants to install the Trophy on all Strykers operating in Iraq: two brigades of 300 Strykers each, at an estimated cost of $350,000-500,000 per Trophy.”

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/trophy.htm

That doesn’t include the cost of maintenance. All of which are ineffective against most IEDs. Also we should be cautious of not creating another M247 York type system. I am not saying by any means that we shouldn’t pursue it. Just that we should know what we are getting into and not to go off half-cock.

WAIT!!!!!!We'll ne... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

WAIT!!!!!!

We'll need to give these to the muslims. That way it'll be "fair".

If the Philastinians cannot... (Below threshold)
914:

If the Philastinians cannot take pot shots at innocent Israeli civilians whatever will they do? This calls for UN action to condemn the Israelis provocative defense system.


Sad part is, it's not really sarcasm is it?


Rick,The myopic te... (Below threshold)
Brucepall:

Rick,

The myopic term is NIIMBY - Not Invented In My Back Yard. Its amazing what microprocessors can do when slaved to a weapons system. For example, cruise missiles are just the latest iteration of the WWII Japanese Kamikaze... but with an electronic brain instead of a human at the controls.

In the first Gulf War, I found a computing tool which came from the site of a smashed Iraqi artillery battery in Kuwait. Their tubes (of South African manufacture) were first class; but their method of computing back azimuth for counter-battery fire was the same that my great-grandfather used in the first World War. The slide-rule which I picked up out of the sand was like finding an ancient relic in the most unexpected place you could imagine. I was amazed at what it represented... I still have it.

Advanced technology is only as good as its application. You also have to know how to use it. Such things only gives one an advantage, until such time as your enemy also begins to deploy and use the same technology... atomic weaponry jumps to mind (for some reason).

The age of gun powder derived projectiles and high-explosives in warfare has already passed its zenith. Most folks don't know it yet. Google "Metal Storm," which was invented in Australia, for an example of what's coming.

NIIMBY is obsolete thinking, and we need to start accepting, applying, and deploying the best technological weapons available in the world - no matter its origination. Otherwise, someday in the future, our troops could end up being on the receiving end... smashed and broken... in some God forsaken land somewhere.

Semper Fidelis-

How is installing Trophy on... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

How is installing Trophy on all Strykers operating in Iraq and probably plans to install it on other vehicles if it works well not using the technology?




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