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After the deployment of Merkava Mk 4 tanks equipped with Trophy (ASPRO-A) Active Protection Systems (APS) along the Gaza border in November 2010, battle-testing the system was only a matter of time. Today (1st March 2011), the Trophy proved its worth in a first combat engagement with a hostile RPG, fired by a Palestinian anti-tank team from Gaza. According to IDF sources, the Merkava tank was patrolling the border with Gaza, when a missile launch was detected by the tank's radar system. The Elta System's EL/M 2133 'WindGuard' sensors classified the threat as 'severe', alerted the crew and tracked the missile closing-in on the tank. As the RPG entered the system's kill-zone, Trophy fired at the missile, destroying it at a safe distance from the tank.Shortly afterwards, IDF soldiers identified several terrorists in the launching area and fired in their direction, scoring a hit.Photo: Noam EshelUpon detection of a direct-threat attack to the vehicle, the WindGuard automatically initiates an alert to the crew and immediately starts a reaction cycle, including smoke, IR jamming and hard-kill subsystems. Beside its role as the Trophy's primary sensor, detecting the threat and calculating Time-to-Impact (TTI) and plotting the optimal intercept point, the Windguard radar also localizes the firing position of the missile being tracked, enabling the IDF troops to rapidly engage active enemy positions, eliminating follow-up attacks on its armor.Photo: Israel MoD
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