Complex active protection Trophy tested in real fighting
The Israeli military has to work in difficult conditions in the territory occupied and equipped by the enemy. For example, Israeli Tanks regularly fired from anti-tank systems. Already on July 20, the Israeli press reported that over the past few days of the ground operation, the enemy had repeatedly made attempts to destroy the tanks of the Israeli armed forces using various anti-tank weapons, but all of them failed. Part of the main tanks involved in the operation Merkava Mk IV is equipped with a complex of active defense (KAZ) Trophy, which successfully intercepted a number of anti-tank grenades. According to reports, at least five grenades were shot down only in the first three days of the ground operation using KAZ Trophy.
A few days after the start of the ground operation, the first video appeared, which captures the work of the Trophy system. As follows from the video captions, on July X, Hamas militants attempted to attack an Israeli tank with the help of a Russian-made RPG-22 grenade launcher. The rocket grenade flew to the tank, but was destroyed by the Trophy system. The ammunition exploded at a safe distance from the combat vehicle and did not cause any damage to it. Given the characteristics of the RPG-29 grenade launcher, it is safe to say that KAZ Trophy saved the life of an Israeli tank crew.
According to open data, KAZ Trophy (alternative name ASPRO-A) works according to the same principles as other active protection complexes for armored vehicles. A set of radar monitors the surrounding space and detects enemy anti-tank ammunition flying to the armored vehicle. If a grenade or a rocket approaches a dangerous distance, a protective fragmentation ammunition is blown up, which destroys the threat at a relatively long distance. Work KAZ Trophy is carried out in fully automatic mode. The crew of the protected armored vehicle should only enable or disable the protective system.
KAZ Trophy is a joint development of the companies Rafael and IAI, created by order of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Work on the creation of an active protection system for tanks and other armored vehicles started in the mid-nineties and lasted about ten years. The official presentation of the Trophy complex took place in the spring of 2005. By the end of the last decade, the system was tested and was recommended for use on Merkava Mk IV tanks and other armored vehicles.
The KAZ Trophy includes a radar threat detection system developed by Elta, control automation and a launch system. Several detection radar antennas provide all-round visibility and detect anti-tank weapons flying from any direction. The control system processes the received information and generates commands for the start-up module. Two launch modules are installed on the sides of the hull or turret of the base machine and, at the command of the control system, a large number of striking elements are sent to the target. The undermining of anti-tank ammunition occurs at a distance of about 10-30 meters.
To date, announced the existence of several modifications KAZ Trophy. The basic version is designed for use on the main tanks of the later models of the Merkava family. In 2007, the Trophy Light complex was proposed, proposed for installation on armored vehicles with a combat mass of no more than 30 tons (armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, etc.). In June of this year, the company Rafael published the first information about the system Trophy-LV, which, allegedly, will be able to protect light equipment like armored cars.
Since the end of the last decade, the serial KAZ Trophy has been installed on various Israeli armored vehicles, primarily on Merkava Mk IV tanks. The first instances of using this system in a real-world battle occurred in March 2011. In both cases, Israeli tanks equipped with active defense complexes patrolled the borders of the Gaza Strip and were attacked by Hamas militants. Both attacks were unsuccessful: the Trophy complexes worked and destroyed the flying anti-tank grenades.
In the future, the KAZ Trophy repeatedly defended Israeli tanks from enemy grenades, but until recently all such incidents were episodic. With the beginning of the ground phase of the “Unbreakable rock” operation, the number of cases of the Trophy’s response has increased significantly. The tanks of the Israeli armed forces are actively involved in hostilities and therefore are constantly under fire using anti-tank grenade launchers and other similar weapons. As far as we know, to date, Palestinian grenade launchers have never succeeded in hitting an Israeli tank protected by the Trophy complex. Nevertheless, tank crews still suffer losses. According to reports, a few days ago one of the Israeli tank crew was seriously wounded by striking elements thrown out to destroy a flying grenade.
Now the latest Israeli active defense complex effectively defends tanks against various anti-tank weapons. The ground operation in the Gaza Strip continues, and tanks are actively involved in it. Given the military-political situation in the region and a number of features of the current conflict, it can be assumed that Israeli tank crews will have to rely on existing defense systems for the next few days or even weeks. Among other things, this will allow collecting statistics showing how to determine the real effectiveness of the KAZ Trophy. The developers of this system still have every reason to be proud: to date, not a single tank protected by the KAZ Trophy has received serious damage and has not been destroyed.
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