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Israel tests Iron Fist APS on Eitan

An Iron Fist fitted to the turret of an Eitan IFV launches an interceptor during the tests. (Israeli Ministry of Defense )

The Elbit Systems Iron Fist active protection system (APS) has completed a successful series of live-fire trials on the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF's) new Eitan armoured personnel carrier (APC), the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 12 December.

A joint statement from the ministry's Tank and APC Directorate, IDF Ground Forces, and Elbit Systems Land Division said an Iron Fist installed on an Eitan “intercepted anti-tank threats in various challenging scenarios”.

“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,” the statement quoted the directorate's head, Brigadier General Oren Giber, as saying. “The Iron Fist system is an important part of this project. It is currently in advanced stages of development and deployment to the Eitan APC and the bulldozer, undergoing rigorous trials to ensure its suitability for the battlefield.”

Designed to be fitted to a wide range of armoured vehicles, the Iron Fist family uses radar and electro-optical sensors to detect approaching projectiles and then slews launchers in their direction to fire explosive interceptors to destroy them. Using the data from its sensors, the system can also identify where weapons were fired from so that threats can be rapidly engaged and neutralised.

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.

The latest statement was accompanied by slow-motion footage of a launcher mounted on the turret of the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) variant of the Eitan firing an interceptor that exploded in the path of a PG-7-type anti-tank rocket.

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