Virtual armour, helicopter style


To say, it will not be an easy task in an understatement, but they will try because the threat is becoming more imminent.

The talk about it at this point is in low profile, as if not to create expectations but something is going on.

I can say with a great degree of confidence that two unique Israeli active protection systems designed to defend tanks and APCs from rockets and shells may be converted for use on helicopters.

The Trophy made by Rafael and the Iron Fist made by Israel Military Industries (IMI) create a hemispheric protected zone around the vehicle where incoming threats are intercepted and defeated. When a threat is detected identified and verified, the system launches the classified interceptor and it deflects and destabilises the rocket or shell so that it does not hit its target.

Both systems use special radar systems to locate and identify the threats.

While the Israeli airforce (IAF) helicopters are using EW systems against missiles there is a need to protect them against weapons like RPG rockets. These have downed many helicopters in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Both companies confirmed that there is a “thought” about developing versions of the systems that will be carried by helicopters. Both companies are reluctant to be more specific but sources say that the interest comes from some foreign air forces that have encountered the problem.

Converting the systems will involve downsizing them and changing the way the interceptors are being launched to defeat the incoming threat.

The Trophy has recently scored a first operational success when it defeated a Russian made anti tank missile that was launched to hit a Merkava-4 main battle tank (MBT) in the Israeli-Gaza border. That success will undoubtedly push the process forward with accelerated pace.











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