For the first time, the new Trophy system created to protect IDF (Zahal) tanks from anti-tank missiles was used in a training exercise. Soldiers practiced scenarios such as staying hidden in their tanks for long periods of time
Date: 20/12/2011, 11:37 AM Author: Dan Tamir, Bamahane magazine
Four years after the battle of Wadi Saluki in the Second Lebanon War (which resulted in numerous casualties from Hezbollah’s anti-tank missiles), the 9th Armored Battalion (of the Armored Corps) has begun training with the Trophy system (Meil Ruach) by Rafael Armament Development Authority, made to protect tanks from anti-tank missiles.
The Trophy system is activated and mounted on tanks. The need for such a system came as a result of lessons learned in the Second Lebanon War, during which Hezbollah’s anti-tank missiles hit many tanks. “The system will significantly reduce the effects of the anti-tank missiles during the next conflict,” explained Commander of Division 162, Brig. Gen. Agai Yehezkel. “By the end of the year, the system will be widely distributed.”
Choosing the 9th Armored Battalion as the first to use the Trophy system was not a coincidence. During the battle at Wadi Saluki, the battalion suffered great losses. “For me this is closure,” confessed Commander of the Armored Corps’ 401st Brigade, Col. Einav Shalev. “Right now, the calculated risk we can take in operations is increasing because the security of the crew and of tanks is higher.”
During the exercise, which took place in the Golan Heights, soldiers practiced an emergency scenario in the North. Opening roads under missile fire, taking control of destinations and hiding out in different areas in the field for long periods of time were only some of the operations the soldiers practiced. “The soldiers did not leave their cells for long periods of time and it was even the first time they had to relieve themselves in bags inside the tank,” said Col. Shalev.
Additionally, another system, one for surveying the field, was used for the first time during the drill, further developing the exercise. “The system gives a real-time image of the force in battle. Now we can see when the enemy hits us and we hit them. It is a real-time simulation,” said the Brigade Commander.