The Israel Defence Force (IDF) has announced that the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Trophy ADS (active defence system) is now fully operational on the army’s Merkava mk4 main battle tank (MBT).

The announcement was been made at this years Defence Systems & Equipment International 2009 (DSEi) held in London.

The Trophy ADS is designed to provide protection to light and heavy armoured fighting vehicles by intercepting and destroying incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast.

The Trophy ADS aboard the Merkava mk4 MBT has undergone successful trials in which the system neutralised a variety of incoming threats, including tank-fired kinetic energy projectiles, anti-tank guided weapons, as well as rocket-propelled grenades.

The Merkava mk4 MBT features an improved 120mm smoothbore gun, new fire control system, 7.62mm machine guns, internally-operated 60mm mortar and a battle management system.

The IDF has received five production Trophy systems, of which three have been installed on Merkava mk4 MBTs from the total order of 100 production units.