Israel Ministry Industries says anti-tank missile defense system akin to Trophy likely to become operational by 2013
The Israel Ministry Industries is pursing the full-throttle development of the Iron Fist proactive anti-tank missile defense system. The company sees vast market potential for the system, despite the fact that the IDF has chosen the Rafael-made Trophy defense system (AKA "Windbreaker") for its Merkava tanks.
While Trophy is already operational, the IMI's system is still in its development stages, albeit the advanced ones. The defense establishment originally sought to combine the two systems, but that idea did not prove viable.
Defense sources said that Iron Fist has several capabilities that allow it to intercept a wide range of missiles – even those fired at close range. The sources added that the IMI system is likely to be cheaper than Rafael's as well, but explain that equipping tanks with Trophy could not be delayed and that is has already prevented several tanks from being hit.
The IMI believes Iron Fist will be in demand in global markets. Defense sources said that the system also has add-on features, which enable its installation on tanks sans any unnecessary modifications for the armored vehicle.
The IMI plans to offer the system to foreign militaries, with several demonstrations scheduled for later this year. Simultaneously, the IMI is still trying to introduce the system into operational use by the IDF.
The Israel Ministry Industries said that Iron Fist has already enjoyed several successful trials and is expected to become fully operational during 2013.Asian Defence News