Fast Draw – Trophy

Fast Draw – Trophy

כלי רכב צה"ליים לאחר פגיעת טילי חיזבאללה בגבול לבנון

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Israeli military vehicles are seen burning in the Shebaa farms an occupied area along the Israeli-Lebanese border near Ghajar village following a Hezbollah missile attack.
Israeli military vehicles burning  along the Israeli-Lebanese border following a Hezbollah missile attack.

With tensions in the north of Israel flaring up again, soldiers were sent on patrol close to the border with Lebanon in civilian vehicles. Had we not seen the remains of the military vehicles that were hit yesterday by anti-tank missiles fired by a Hezbollah unit, we would not have believed someone in the IDF could be this irresponsible.

Israel is where the most advanced system against anti-tank missiles was developed. The system, the Armoured Shield Protection-Active (ASPRO-A), aka Trophy, was designed by Rafael. It is capable of defending tanks and APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) from Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) like the Russian 9M133 Kornet which was launched against the IDF vehicles yesterday from a range of 5 km.

Someone in the IDF did not seem to realize that whereas once, in bygone days, they needed this system for armored columns rushing to conquer enemy targets, it is currently needed along Israel’s borders too, as there are numerous well-armed terrorist organizations operating right on Israel’s borders.

So just see what happened: an IDF convoy was making its way along an internal road, not literally on the border. The Hezbollah’s observation unit saw the vehicles and launched five 9M133 Kornet missiles against them.

How is it that Israel reached such as state? Is this the product of irresponsibility? Or complacency?

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Had there not been an available solution, we could somehow fathom yesterday’s “ducks in a row” incident, with the convoy making its way in perfect visibility conditions. Nevertheless, the solution is available, moreover, it is a battle-proven solution. Given the status along the border since the Hezbollah operatives and the Iranian General were ’taken out’, it was clear Hezbollah was on the lookout for revenge. It did not occur to me that Israel would make it so easy for them to exact their reprisal.

Trophy Armored Shield Protection-Active
Trophy Armored Shield Protection-Active

Had someone in the IDF had more sense and less complacency, then the orders would decree that soldiers move along this heavily-targeted road exclusively in Merkava tanks fitted with the Trophy system, or Namer APCs whose chassis are Merkava-based, which are also fitted with Trophy systems.

The IDF does not seem to learn from its bitter experience. During operation “Protective Edge”, soldiers were sent into Gaza’s streets in Vietnam-era APCs. At the time, they used to lay sandbags to secure them. The toll this stupidity took in Gaza was heavy.

The price for yesterday’s similar stupidity was also heavy.

Arie Egozi iHLS editor-in-chief
Arie Egozi
i-HLS editor-in-chief