Israeli Missile Defense System Blasts Threats With Liquid Metal

Earnest Cavalli

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Jun 19, 2008
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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 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/110651-New-Tech-Protects-War-Planes-With-Swarming-Decoys], I can't think of a more awesome protection plan.

Source: dvice [http://www.rafael.co.il/Marketing/349-963-en/Marketing.aspx]


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Jumplion

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Mar 10, 2008
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Incoming geo-political argument/flame-war over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 3....2....1....

[sup]*please let me be wrong, guys. Please?*[/sup]

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.
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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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.
 

hem dazon 90

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Aug 12, 2008
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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
 

ssManae

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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.
 

TehKnifeh

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Dec 26, 2008
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all I could think of while watching and reading that was the battle drone from C&C Generals....
 

drakythe

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rembrandtqeinstein said:
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.
 

TheIronRuler

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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 said:
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 said:
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.
 

Cpu46

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Sep 21, 2009
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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.

 

Calbeck

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Jul 13, 2008
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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 said:
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 said:
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 said:
Yeah cause they totally need more weapons to slaughter innoc-
-ent missiles that have been fired at them. Yes, I agree.
 

nuqneh1

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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.
 

Stublore

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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?
 

TheIronRuler

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Stublore said:
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?
 

EMFCRACKSHOT

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May 25, 2009
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Stublore said:
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.
 

redisforever

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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.
 

Jumplion

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HankMan said:
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.