JERUSALEM, Israel - A new defense system designed for Merkava Mark IV tanks will be installed a full battalion of tanks by 2010, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) announced on Thursday.
The state-of-the-art system can destroy a broad range of anti-tank missiles long before they reach their target.
During the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, 40 percent of Israeli casualties were inflicted by anti-tank guided missiles fired by the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group.
To test the defense system, rockets, anti-tank missiles and other types of artillery were fired at the tanks. The defense system identified and intercepted each threat, even when the tank was moving.
The tank defense system was jointly developed by the Defense Ministry, Army Headquarters and the Rafael Armaments Development Authority as a 100 percent Israeli product.
According to an NBC report several months ago, the U.S. Army rejected the system for its tanks, preferring to wait until for American-made system projected to be ready sometime after 2011.
Source: Ynet news