Smaller, Faster 'Iron Dome' Protects Our Tanks
From a vantage point outside my home in Beit Shemesh, I can see the Iron Dome in action over the coastal plane, like a fire-work display in the skies over Ashkelon and Ashdod, destroying Hamas rockets fired at these cities from Gaza.
If Moses or his sister Miriam were to witness this incredible sight, I believe they would break into a Shira - a song of praise.
We are now all familiar with the concept of the Iron Dome.
It detects rockets fired at the area it is protecting.
It calculates the trajectory and therefore the landing point of the rocket.
It decides whether a particular rocket is therefore a risk to the population centers.
If it is, the system fires a missile at the income rocket.
The missile explodes in close proximity to the rocket, destroying the warhead and hopefully sending the rocket debris away from the cities
This cycle of events has to be quick, because depending on the range, there's only seconds, up to perhaps a minute, to respond effectively to the incoming threat.
This remarkable engineering feat is made in Israel by Rafael, a defence systems company. No other country in the world has this capability.
So now imagine that you want to use a similar concept to protect our tanks, now in Gaza.
These tanks face anti-tank rockets every day, often fired from shoulder launchers by nimble ground forces, at short range and with highly lethal armaments.
With say a 100 metre range, these rockets hit a tank in less than a second.
A system for defending the tank using the Iron Dome concept, would need to go through the whole recognition and respond cycle within that second.
Here's the concept for the tank protection:
Detect rockets fired at the tank.
Calculate the trajectory and therefore the impact point of the rocket.
Decides whether a particular rocket is therefore a risk to the tank.
If it is, the system fires a hard-kill missile at the income rocket.
The missile either hits or explodes in close proximity to the rocket, destroying the warhead and hopefully sending the rocket debris away from friendly ground troops or civilians.
And all within a second.
Clearly an impossible task.
Rafael's engineers are of the type that do the impossible on a daily basis. Open miracles may take a little longer.
The system Rafael's ingenious engineers developed is the Trophy Tank Protection System.
Unlike Iron Dome, Trophy is not visible to the public eye, and is little discussed.
An unsung hero.
Here's a Rafael promo video about the Trophy, which is now deployed on Israeli combat vehicles, saving our soldier's lives against Hamas anti-tank rockets: