Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD), the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Elbit Systems Land Division jointly announced the completion of a successful series of Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS) tests. The defense system deployed to “Eitan” Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) intercepted anti-tank threats in various challenging scenarios. The Iron Fist system is an advanced active protection system that provides 360-degree coverage against multi-range threats in open and urban environments. The system includes an electro-optic sensor suit, searching and tracking radar, and a reaction suit with launchers and interceptors, neutralizing threats at a safe distance from the vVehicle. In addition to its defensive capabilities, the ”Iron Fist” provides Armoured Fighting Vehicle teams with fire source location to close the fire circle in multi-threat combat arenas. The MoD announced in August 2019 that the Light Decoupled version of Iron Fist had been selected for the new Eitan and D9 armoured bulldozers.
General Manager of Elbit Systems Land, Yehuda (Udi) Vered: “The ‘Iron Fist’ Active Protection System is unique, being a lightweight system that can be installed on a variety of fighting vehicles such as armored personnel carriers, bulldozers, and more.?
IDF Ground Forces Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Aviram Sela: “The Iron Fist system is part of the IDF Ground Forces’ efforts to enhance protection measures for forces on the battlefield. The system will expand the operational capabilities of the ‘Eitan’ wheeled APC and D9 bulldozers combat teams.”
Head of the Defense Tank and APC Directorate in the Israel Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Oren Giber: “The Tank and APC Directorate is currently completing its preparation for the delivery of the self-developed Eitan advanced 8×8 wheeled APC to the IDF.”
Eitan (Steadfast or Strong) is an armoured fighting vehicle developed by the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate in the IMOD to replace the aging M113 armored personnel carrier in use by the Israel Defense Forces. The first Eitan AFV was unveiled on August 1, 2016. The Eitan is an 8-wheeled vehicle much lighter than the Namer, weighing less than 35 tons, fitted with the Iron Fist Light Decoupled active protection system. The AFV has a top speed of 90 km/h and can carry 12 men including 3 crew. The Eitan can be equipped with a 30–40 mm gun and a missile firing position. The armor is STANAG 4569 level 4. The Eitan will replace hundreds of M113s currently in service. According to Brigadier General Baruch Matzliah, the vehicle will complement, not replace, the Namer tracked APC; as a wheeled vehicle, it will cost half as much as the Namer and, unlike tracked vehicles, can transport infantry squads on roads without relying on tank transporters. The Eitan has run flat tires and is designed with a protected, relatively high floor to protect from mine and IED blast effects.
Iron Fist (Porcupine Arrow) is a hard-kill active protection system (APS) designed by Israel Military Industries ( now Elbit Systems), with a modular design allowing adaptation to a range of platforms ranging from light utility vehicles to heavy armoured fighting vehicles. The system has been successfully tested against a wide variety of threats including rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank guided missiles and tank-fired high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) ammunition and kinetic energy penetrators. It senses incoming threats via a fixed active electronically scanned array 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 by detonating its warhead. For this, only the blast effect of the explosive is used.