Israeli Missile Defense System Blasts Threats With Liquid Metal

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Israeli Missile Defense System Blasts Threats With Liquid Metal

The Israeli military has a new missile defense system that counters the threat of incoming missiles with bursts of molten liquid metal.

Created by defense contractor Rafael, the system (dubbed "Trophy") is "the world's first and only operational active protection system." It's designed to protect tanks from one of the few threats the lumbering behemoths face on the modern battlefield: airborne explosives.

Imagine that you're driving around in a tank, minding your own business and feeling completely invincible. You round the corner of a dusty village, and some jerk with a Soviet-era RPG-7 dashes from behind a disused turnip cart hoping to ruin your day via catastrophic explosion. This is where Trophy comes into play.

Once that rocket-propelled grenade is fired, Trophy utilizes precise radar technology to lock on to the approaching threat. Once detected, the system then launches miniature radar drones which pinpoint the incoming weapon and relay its exact position to the main targeting computer. That RPG is then shredded in mid-air by a blast of liquid metal, moments before it impacts your ride.

The best part of all this is that Trophy is entirely automated. Since the sight of that RPG contrail streaking toward you has locked your brain into a series of primal fear responses and very few modern tanks are capable of barrel-rolling out of the way, you panic and freeze, but Trophy goes about its business with robotic precision and blows the airborne threat into its component parts.

Though Trophy has yet to see widespread use, a prototype system installed on a tank patrolling the Gaza Strip successfully dispatched an anti-tank missile earlier this year. Barring unforeseen complications, Trophy should enter active use by 2012.

Having watched Rafael's promotional footage of the system in action, I'm of two minds on Trophy. On the one hand, this is yet another existentially grim leap in mankind's endless race to utterly annihilate itself in as innovative a fashion as possible.

On the other hand, Trophy is totally wicked sweet. Short of surrounding tanks in swarms of weaponized autonomous drones, I can't think of a more awesome protection plan.

Source: Rafael, via dvice

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Incoming geo-political argument/flame-war over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 3....2....1....

*please let me be wrong, guys. Please?*

I've always found weaponry morbidly fascinating, and it does seem like a cool piece of technology. Almost like they're firing a liquid terminator at missiles or something.

EDIT: It seems I was fucking right! Hooray! Pointless goddamn arguing over an article that barely called for it! Congradu-fucking-lations.

Sounds literally like my kind of point defence system.

That's cute and all but the enemy will always adapt.

From Sun Tzu, avoid strength attack weakness.

You know what that RPG is still really good against? The truck carrying the fuel for the tank. Or the bar where the tank drivers like to hang out. Or house where the tank commander's family lives.

The best defense is avoiding making an enemy who would want to fire on your tanks in the first place.

Shoulda put "Blasts innocent civillians with liquid metal"

Seriously screw Israel, They should put all the money we give them into Improving themselves rather than hurting others.

Lovely weapons system though, I just wish the good guys could be the ones to invent it

From the looks of it the system is small enough to even go on less armored vehicles.

Besides, they already do attack those. They just tend to be harder targets to get to.

all I could think of while watching and reading that was the battle drone from C&C Generals....

rembrandtqeinstein:
That's cute and all but the enemy will always adapt.

From Sun Tzu, avoid strength attack weakness.

You know what that RPG is still really good against? The truck carrying the fuel for the tank. Or the bar where the tank drivers like to hang out. Or house where the tank commander's family lives.

The best defense is avoiding making an enemy who would want to fire on your tanks in the first place.

Yeah, but if you blow up too many bars, you turn the locals against yourself. This way always lies failure.

I've always loved defensive technology (Literally defensive, body armor fascinates the hell out of me). This looks hella awesome.

Mazel tov!
This'll give Hamas something to kvetch about!

Yeah cause they totally need more weapons to slaughter innoc- erm... "defend their nation" with.

Another arming race that'll never end.
At least tanks can get into the cities now that RPG missiles are no longer relevant.

hem dazon 90:
Shoulda put "Blasts innocent civillians with liquid metal"

Seriously screw Israel, They should put all the money we give them into Improving themselves rather than hurting others.

Lovely weapons system though, I just wish the good guys could be the ones to invent it

I doubt they'd waste precious money on killing a Palestinian if they can just use a bullet. Or use nothing and let the local gangs and freedom fighters duke it out by themselves, killing civilians for Israel in the process of their various street shoot-outs.

drakythe:

Yeah, but if you blow up too many bars, you turn the locals against yourself. This way always lies failure.

This somehow reminds me of the Vietnam war, specifically the 'Tet' offensive and the consequences on the local populace.

I like new tank technology as much as the next guy but honestly what was going through my mind at the end of the video was a desire to know how can I get that version of "With great power" that was playing in the background.

Can't agree with your first hand, there. Right off the bat, tanks aren't WMDs; hence, they're not going to be what humanity uses to annihilate itself. Second, it's a defensive system meant to prevent someone else from annihilating the crew inside the tank.

What it DOES do is reduce the capacity of infantry to attack armored vehicles. Which is just part and parcel of the development of armored warfare since the concept of armor was invented.

rembrandtqeinstein:
The best defense is avoiding making an enemy who would want to fire on your tanks in the first place.

Figure that one out, and you have world peace. Unfortunately, merely existing is often sufficient reason for some people to want to open fire.

hem dazon 90:
Shoulda put "Blasts innocent civillians with liquid metal"

I wasn't aware innocent civilians shot rocket contrails from their keesters.

Perhaps Hamas should cut down on the falafels.

SteelStallion:
Yeah cause they totally need more weapons to slaughter innoc-

-ent missiles that have been fired at them. Yes, I agree.

Did anyone else think while reading this headline that israel is now a few more steps towards a Thanix Cannon?

Anyway, it's a pretty neat system.

What sort of tank has to worry about Rocket Propelled Grenades?(ok, so the tracks are a weak point, but it's not really a problem otherwise is it?).
How much damage can the do?
Otoh, it seems a great system for lighter armoured vehicles, and also for taking out missiles, and HEAT rounds.
Is this new though?
Wasn't this shown over a year ago on the Discovery Channels Future Weapons?

Stublore:
What sort of tank has to worry about Rocket Propelled Grenades?(ok, so the tracks are a weak point, but it's not really a problem otherwise is it?).
How much damage can the do?
Otoh, it seems a great system for lighter armoured vehicles, and also for taking out missiles, and HEAT rounds.
Is this new though?
Wasn't this shown over a year ago on the Discovery Channels Future Weapons?

Israel is currently developing a *(Plenty)* of new technologies and is now showcasing most of them. Are you sure you're not confused with something else?

Stublore:
What sort of tank has to worry about Rocket Propelled Grenades?(ok, so the tracks are a weak point, but it's not really a problem otherwise is it?).
How much damage can the do?
Otoh, it seems a great system for lighter armoured vehicles, and also for taking out missiles, and HEAT rounds.
Is this new though?
Wasn't this shown over a year ago on the Discovery Channels Future Weapons?

A tank doesn't really have to worry about RPG7s, but ATGMs are a real threat. e.g, in the 1973 yom kippur war (Israel vs egypt and syria) something like over 70% of israeli tanks destroyed were taken out by ATGMs (the Sagger wire guided missile specifically) and many western observers (mistakenly) declared the death of the tank.
And was probably still in the test phase when it was on future weapons, its now fully operational, and boy does it look sweet.
The switch from detection to nuetralisation looks nice and swift too, which was pleasantly surprising.

COOL!

And that is an awesome, epic video. Except that guy's accent confuses me. I don't know, sounds a bit off.

If this works even 99% of the time, this would nearly remove all deaths from RPG's. Impressive stuff.

Pretty sure this isn't the only active defense system in the world today.

HankMan:
Mazel tov!
This'll give Hamas something to kvetch about!

That made me laugh so hard when I connected what you said with your avatar.

You've got a lot of chutzpah, mister.

Very impressive.
But using superheated liquid metal to destroy targets is so 1994.
A burst of hot copper shreds any and all battle tanks.
Which was proven/introduced 17 years ago ;)

EMFCRACKSHOT:

Stublore:
What sort of tank has to worry about Rocket Propelled Grenades?(ok, so the tracks are a weak point, but it's not really a problem otherwise is it?).
How much damage can the do?
Otoh, it seems a great system for lighter armoured vehicles, and also for taking out missiles, and HEAT rounds.
Is this new though?
Wasn't this shown over a year ago on the Discovery Channels Future Weapons?

A tank doesn't really have to worry about RPGs, but ATGMs are a real threat. e.g, in the 1973 yom kippur war (Israel vs egypt and syria) something like over 70% of israeli tanks destroyed were taken out by ATGMs (the Sagger wire guided missile specifically) and many western observers (mistakenly) declared the death of the tank.
And was probably still in the test phase when it was on future weapons, its now fully operational, and boy does it look sweet.
The switch from detection to nuetralisation looks nice and swift too, which was pleasantly surprising.

A tank actually does have to worry about RPGs... not in the sense that it can pierce armor and kill anyone in the tank (because it can't)... but what an RPG can do is immobilize a tank by making it throw a track.
The tracked vehicle equivalent of shooting out a tire with a 9mm, basically.

This new system looks like some crazy sci-fi to me, though... I'd love to see how it really works.

Very Interesting. I wonder if the technology could be used for defense of static positions such as bunkers? Would it even be worth it?

Nevertheless these things always show their product at its best so I would not be surprised if it had a few faults that are not yet evident. It never quite works perfectly in reality.

loc978:
A tank actually does have to worry about RPGs... not in the sense that it can pierce armor and kill anyone in the tank (because it can't)... but what an RPG can do is immobilize a tank by making it throw a track.

There's much more that an RPG can do, actually...if not particularly reliably.

Taking out sensors, radio antennae and periscopes is one. A direct hit on a periscope can also wound or even kill anyone looking through it at that moment. Sponson boxes and their contents (tools, spare oil and sometimes extra ammo) can be destroyed since they're not made of heavy armor. Other weak points, varying between models of tank, can be exploited to knock out engines, battery boxes, and/or NBC filtration systems.

A smart, well-trained soldier, even with a weapon as relatively weak as an RPG, can do a lot of damage to a tank. Fortunately, the insurgents are generally neither.

Sounds... useful.

I could use that to pave the way for something totally overkill.

Earnest Cavalli:
On the one hand, this is yet another existentially grim leap in mankind's endless race to utterly annihilate itself in as innovative a fashion as possible.

To be honest im surprised there even are 6 billion humans on the plannet.

Calbeck:
A smart, well-trained soldier, even with a weapon as relatively weak as an RPG, can do a lot of damage to a tank. Fortunately, the insurgents are generally neither.

I lol'd at that.

Would this system not be defeated by multiple incoming targets from all directions.
And they say they can defeat heat rounds but from what distance would these rounds have to be fired from for the system to work since most rounds go over 1500 Mps. Urban combat this would be a useless system against an enemy tank.

Tiger Sora:
Would this system not be defeated by multiple incoming targets from all directions.
And they say they can defeat heat rounds but from what distance would these rounds have to be fired from for the system to work since most rounds go over 1500 Mps. Urban combat this would be a useless system against an enemy tank.

If EFP (ammo for Trophy) is placed into firing position it might be effective even against HEAT rounds fired from short distance (few hundered meters or even less) - technical data are secret, so we most likely wont know answer for some time (iz depende entirely on how fast is cycle from detection to detonation of countermeasure).

Reload time is from 0.2 to 0.4 second.

Also to people who think that RPGs dont pose danger to modern tanks - they do, because not every RPG is decades old RPG-7. Russians sold plenty of newer versions of RPG (like RPG-29) which are much more powerfull.

nuqneh1:
Did anyone else think while reading this headline that israel is now a few more steps towards a Thanix Cannon?

Thanks Cannon, version 1.0!
Bring it, Reapers!

Double post, sorry.

rembrandtqeinstein:
That's cute and all but the enemy will always adapt.

From Sun Tzu, avoid strength attack weakness.

You know what that RPG is still really good against? The truck carrying the fuel for the tank. Or the bar where the tank drivers like to hang out. Or house where the tank commander's family lives.

The best defense is avoiding making an enemy who would want to fire on your tanks in the first place.

Right, so while I drive this tank over to your base you can try and try and find my favorite bar/fuel station.

Not saying you're not right, but that's not exactly a defense against an imminent attack. And most wars don't exactly welcome people from the other sides to their soldiers' favorite hangout places. It's all nice and well to quote a dead guy, but to expect everyone and their mother to be able to follow such nicely worded instructions in reality is sort of like watching a movie and thinking everyone should pull of those clever heists.

R Man:

Nevertheless these things always show their product at its best so I would not be surprised if it had a few faults that are not yet evident. It never quite works perfectly in reality.

Pretty much how I feel.

These tanks are broken! Must be nerfed.

Grahav:
These tanks are broken! Must be nerfed.

na most likely they'll just buff the infantry

I love how almost no one is talking about the defense system and are having a debate about either how this could be used to kill people or just having a debate isreal

DARPA has been doing this for some time. I was fairly certain they already had deployable technology some time ago.

3 main mistakes in that story.

1)Trophy isn't just in prototype stages, its already fully operational - every single new Merkava MK4 tank that rolls of the production line is equipped with a system as a standard feature.

2)It doesn't just work on RPGs, but also against ATGMs and tank heat rounds. - basically, anything that gets fired at a tank and isn't an APFSDS.

3)the system is entirely protective, it only prevents the deaths of the tank crews - so theres not much in it about mankind's ability to destroy itself.

that aside, since when does a VIDEO GAME site focus on real world weapons technology ?

I love how the majority of posters here already know so much about modern weaponry.
Also, I don't exactly understand how the hot metal can shred missiles, but do no damage to nearby friendly infantry.

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