‘Trophy has so far saved dozens of soldiers’ lives, ever since its first deployment in August 2009, especially in Operation Protective Edge’
How do you see India as a defence market? What are the areas of your immediate, medium and long-term interests?
Rafael has been an active participant in the Indian defence market for more than two decades. We have always endeavoured to contribute to the modernisation of the Indian armed forces. A number of our systems are in use by India, including the SPYDER ADS, Barak-1 SAM, Reccelite EO-IR Pod, Shipborne EW Systems SPICE air-to-ground munition, Litening pods, communication, SPIKE EO tactical missiles, etc. We continue to offer India a wide portfolio of capabilities including air defence with the combat-proven Iron Dome system, naval asset air defence with the C-Dome (an Iron Dome derivative using the same interceptor), Trophy – the world’s only combat-proven APS with numerous interceptions on the battlefield. We are also continuing to out our focus on the BNET SDR FAMILY - Broadband MANET IP Software-Defined Radio for ground and air applications, as well as on underwater systems of torpedo decoys and underwater communication, remote-weapon stations, and EO surveillance.
On which programmes are you cooperating/ collaborating with the DRDO?
Rafael cooperates with the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on many programmes based on the needs of the Indian government. The MR SAM/ Barak-8 missile is one of the major programmes which have reached fruition. There are others which are under discussion or in progress, which the DRDO will probably better positioned to respond to.
What is the progress on the Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems’ (KRAS) facility in Hyderabad? Which programmes will KRAS look at?
As part of our global strategy, we form alliances to develop military applications based on our proprietary technologies. Rafael considers India as a strategic partner and will continue to move towards indigenous production and development of advanced defence systems. Rafael looks to India for cooperation in the defence industry as a strategic relation. We are fully committed to support ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister, and KRAS is our strategic partner for that.
The Indian Army is reported to have expressed an interest in equipping its tank units with Active Protection Systems (APS). How do you view Rafael Trophy Active Protection System prospects? Have you started a conversation on this with the Indian Army?
The operational requirement to equip armoured vehicles with an APS is dictated by the growing proliferation of advanced anti-armour weapons. Trophy has the proven capability to defeat advanced threats, coupled with handling all safety considerations of an autonomous shooting system, an issue that has raised concerns among potential customers for many years.
Trophy APS capabilities have benefitted from decades of experience at Rafael, developing and integrating APS’. Trophy has so far saved dozens of soldiers’ lives, ever since its first deployment in August 2009 and especially in Operation ‘Protective Edge’ (summer 2014), where numerous anti-armour threats of different kinds were launched at Merkava IV tanks equipped with Trophy. None of those potentially lethal attacks caused casualties to IDF troops. Rafael’s experience is unmatched with more than 500,000 of operational hours, making it the only mature operational APS anywhere in the world.
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