Iron Fist (countermeasure)
Iron Fist is a hard-kill active protection system (APS) designed by Israel Military Industries (IMI), with a modular design allowing adaptation to a range of platforms ranging from light utility vehicles to heavy armoured fighting vehicles. The concept was revealed by IMI in 2006 and was expected to enter Israel Defense Forces tests by mid-2007. The system has been successfully tested against a wide variety of threats including rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank guided missiles and tank-fired HEAT ammunition and kinetic energy penetrators.
It senses incoming threats via a fixed radar sensor developed by RADA Electronic Industries and an optional passive infrared detector developed by Elbit's Elisra. When a threat is imminent, an explosive projectile interceptor is launched towards it. The interceptor explodes very near the threat, destroying or deflecting and destabilizing it without detonating its warhead. For this, only the blast effect of the explosive is used. The interceptor casing is made of combustible materials so no fragmentation is formed in the explosion, helping minimize collateral damage.
In May 2011, the system intercepted Kinetic energy penetrators and Metis anti tank missiles during a test in the U.S.
In early 2013, the MoD tested both the IMI Iron Fist and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Trophy in a competition to select a single second-generation APS for IDF vehicles. Both systems were first-generation standard at the time. Both systems were financed concurrently until 2010, when the ministry's participation in funding the Iron Fist was suspended and limited procurement of the Trophy was initiated. In 2012, the ministry attempted to combine the two systems into one, utilizing the Iron Fist's interceptor and the Trophy's Elta radar and C3 system. Because Rafael would serve as the prime contractor instead of both companies being equal partners, IMI refused to cooperate. After 2013 trials, completion of a second-generation APS would be completed within a few years. IMI is also trying to market the Iron Fist internationally.
- Israel Military Industries Ltd: Active Protection System, Iron Fist
- Armada, issue 4/2007, August/September: Unrivalled Active Protection System (APS) Against the Widest Range of Threats
- Defense Update 1/2006: Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS)
- Rafael's Trophy and IMI's Iron Fist to Compete in Early 2013 - Israeldefense.com, 23 December 2012
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