Israel's 'Trophy' defense system shoots down missiles in midair

It's a bad day to be a rocket-propelled grenade or anti-tank missile, as Israel is field testing and deploying its "Trophy" active defense system that uses fancy radars and jets of liquid metal to autonomously shred any incoming threats in the blink of an eye.

In Afghanistan today, threats to tanks and vehicles don't generally come from other tanks and vehicles. Instead, threats come from nowhere, when somebody jumps out from behind something and fires a rocket-propelled grenade at you. There's often no good way of stopping this from happening, which is why Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed "Trophy," a vehicle-mounted package that can autonomously shoot down incoming RPGs and missiles before they can do any damage:

The Trophy system uses radar to detect incoming threats, and when it sees something on the way, it autonomously deploys some adorable little extra tracking radars. If you watch closely, you can see this happen at about 0:55 in the above video. These radars determine exactly where the grenade or missile or whatever is headed, and just before impact, a countermeasure is fired that blasts the incoming projectile with jets of molten metal, shredding it into harmless pieces.

The first successful field test of Trophy took place in March, when a prototype system mounted on a tank patrolling the Gaza Strip shot down an incoming anti-tank missile. Expect to see this system, along with similar systems from DARPA and Raytheon, in active use on combat vehicles by 2012.

Trophy, via Danger Room

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