Thursday, April 13, 2006

Shields Up!

No, that is not Captain Kirk telling Mr. Sulu to prepare for an attack. In fact, a new anti-missile technology developed by the Israelis called Trophy has practically the same effect for a tank or armored fighting vehicle as shields did for the Enterprise.

The system uses vehicle mounted radar to track an incoming RPG or anti-missile round and then release a countermeasure that destroys the explosive part of the incoming round. Fox News had some video of this, which has since been taken down, that showd in slowm motion the round disolving as it hit something invisible. The system's maker and the government, for good reason, are not saying what is deployed but according to the above link it has succesfully worked in hundreds of tests and General Dynamics will include it in upcoming tanks and AFV. There was no mention as to whether it could be retroffited into existing vehicles.

Considering that RPG rounds are the second biggest killer of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is a tremendous accomplishment. In addition, the old Soviet RPG can be found everywhere in the world and is still being manufactured in large numbers in the new Russia. So this defense will find a use for U.S. and Israeli soldiers for years to come. Hopefully, it will even be used on soft targets like trucks and Hummers.

It is also mentioned that the next generation of this technology could stop kinetic energy rounds, ie tank cannon rounds. If true the our tanks would be even more invulnerable then they are now.

Having your weapons proved powerless against your enemy should totally demoralize the enemy. Now if we could just come up with something to stop IEDs...


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