Friday, August 31, 2007

Israeli technology poised to save more US troops - again

Yet again, Israel has developed technology that has the potential to save countless American and allied soldiers' lives:
Rafael Armament Development Authority, one of Israel's largest defense firms, has unveiled its next-generation "add-on armor technology" for combat vehicles: the Multi-Threat Armor Protection System.

"We anticipate the successful integration of M-TAPS in the MRAP II (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles) and MPV programs," Nehemia Shachar, the company's head of the Protection Systems Sector of the Ordinance and Protection Division, said via a company statement.

He added that the installed system can deflect rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, explosively formed projectiles, "high-speed fragments from artillery bombs and armor-piercing projectiles from heavy machine guns."

These "make up the majority of threats to troop vehicles in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other current conflicts," Shachar noted.

Shachar told UPI in a telephone interview that the company expects to sell the system, which is integrated into the combat vehicle itself, to "everyone," especially "coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"The earlier (armor) product was a lower level of protection," Shachar said, so the company worked to upgrade the system, which provides protection for trucks as well as combat vehicles.

The M-TAPS armor is the only product of its kind currently on the market, Shachar told UPI...

According to the company, M-TAPS has undergone extensive testing at the firm's facilities and by the Israel Defense Forces.

"M-TAPS ... is an upgrade of Rafael's ... Insensitive Reactive Armor system that has been successfully applied to the U.S. Bradleys (armored fighting vehicles), IDF vehicles and a variety of NATO APCs (armored personnel carriers)," according to Rafael.