A Hamas cameraman has recorded what appears to be Israel’s tank-mounted anti-missile system shooting down an approaching anti-tank rocket during a Gaza battle.
The Trophy system is a miniature, short-range version of Israel’s famous Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has effectively blocked hundreds of of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities. The U.S. military does not have a similar system.
The three-part Trophy system is mounted on the turret of some Israeli tanks.
First, turret-mounted radars detect an approaching missile.
Then a robot arm points a block of pellet-filled explosives towards the missile.
A computerized set of fuzes detonates the block of explosive so that the explosion is squirted out in a jet of metal pellets to destroy the oncoming missile.
The success rate is secret, but the Hamas video — likely taken in the now-deserted Shejaiya zone of Gaza — seems to show the Hamas anti-tank rocket being detonated by the Trophy’s explosive jet before it can hit the tank.
Three images from the video show the rocket approaching the tank, the explosive block firing at the rocket, and the rocket blowing up. A final image shows the aftermath.
The images were taken at roughly 100th of a second apart.
Israeli ground units are pushing their way into the Shejaiya district because they’re trying to destroy the Hamas units and various tunnels that are hidden beneath houses, hospitals and mosques.
In a 2006 battle with Islamic terrorists in Lebanon, several Israeli tanks were destroyed by Russian-made unguided and guided anti-tank rockets.
The Trophy system was gradually deployed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to protect the tanks.
Since 2011, the system has protected tanks in a few cases where missiles were fired at vehicles stationed in Israeli territory.
The system is also called “Windbreaker” by Israelis.
If the system works as well as it seems to in the video, Israel tanks may be able to shrug off missile attacks and immediately shoot 120mm shells at the rocket-launchers.
That’s bad for Hamas’ infantry, and good for Israel’s security.