The Israel Defense Forces announced Thursday it had successfully completed a series of tests on a new defense system for the Merkava Mark IV tank.
The system was designed to provide the most advanced tanks currently operating in the army with active defenses. The system is considered to be the most advanced of its kind worldwide, and is capable of defending against a wide range of anti-tank missiles by destroying them a long distance from the tank itself.
During the tests anti-tank missiles, rockets, and other artillery were fired at the tanks. The system correctly identified the threats and intercepted them successfully, even while the tank was moving.
The system was developed by Army Headquarters in cooperation with the Rafael Armaments Development Authority and the Defense Ministry.
It is scheduled to be installed in an entire battalion of tanks used by the Armored Corps by 2010.
Entirely an Israeli invention, the system has been marketed to friendly armies worldwide. But NBC published a report a number of months ago claiming the US Army has prevented the armament of its tanks with the new defenses, preferring instead to wait until its locally-developed system is ready for use sometime after 2011.