Israeli ‘Iron-Fist’ System Protecting US Fighting Vehicles From Anti-Tank Attacks
It’s something like a mini Iron-Dome system that knocks out anti-tank missiles to protect crews and keep them on mission.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
The U.S. Army has begun testing the newest M2A4 version of its Bradley fighting vehicle that is now equipped with the Israeli Iron-Fist system that protects the vehicle and its crew from anti-tank missiles, Israel Defense magazine reported Tuesday.
The field tests are being done on the well-known infantry fighting vehicle at the Army’s Fort Hood base in Texas.
The Bradley vehicles are manufactured by BAE Systems. The new M2A4 is the updated version of the army workhorse that first went into service in 1981. To date, almost 7,000 have been produced, most of them being used by the U.S., carrying a crew of three and up to six infantry soldiers.
In June 2016, the U.S. Army decided to test Iron Fist, which is made by Israel’s Elbit defense company, the same defense manufacturer that produces the famous Iron Dome missile defense system, which protects Israel’s population from rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists. Those tests were successful, and in 2018 the Army announced it would be installing Iron Fist in an armored brigade which usually consists of over 138 Bradley vehicles.
Iron Fist isn’t quite like having shields on the Starship Enterprise, but it’s getting close. The system’s advanced technology automatically detects, tracks and neutralizes incoming anti-tank missiles to protect the vehicle and its crew.
The Iron Fist sensors can determine what’s incoming, be it a short range RPG, recoil-less rifle round or an anti-tank guided missile, and it can even handle simultaneous attacks. The computerized controller determines the optimum point and fires a blast interceptor that blows up away from the Bradley but in front of the incoming round, neutralizing it with a shock-wave that stops the round without causing it to explode.
The American military appreciates Israeli technology. Last year, the U.S. announced it will purchase two Iron Dome batteries for $373 million to be deployed to protect American forces in hostile areas of operation and began taking delivery of the first system two months ago.
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