In a major development for Israel’s arms export industry, the United States Army chose an Israeli-made “active protection system” to secure its armored personnel carriers (APCs).
The American military will use Israel Military Industries’ Iron Fist Light Configuration system to protect its light- to medium-weight APCs. Iron Fist employs a combinations of radar and electro-optic sensors to detect and disable a wide range of missiles, Avinoam Zafir, IMI’s corporate vice president of marketing, told the Jerusalem Post on Monday.
The U.S. Army’s decision was influenced by the system’s light weight and ability to fire interceptors without shock, as well as an attractive price-tag, Zafir said. He also praised its ability to defend against RPGs, rockets, and anti-tank missiles.
“A boxer can put up both hands to absorb blows – this is passive defense,” he explained. “He can also strike out with a fist and hit before he is punched. This is active defense, and it is what our system offers.”
When Iron Fist’s sensors pick up an incoming missile, it makes a “split-second” determination whether the threat is guided or not. If it is, the missile’s guidance system is jammed and it falls to the ground. If it is not guided, Iron Fist launches small warheads that detonate near the threat, destroying it with the shock-wave. The sensors also allow the crew of the APC to detect other immediate threats such as snipers.
Israel will be providing the systems within two years, and the acquisition has “a very big potential,” Zafir added.
[Photo: Ereshkigal1 / WikiCommons]