As of September 2006, 170 American lives have been lost to RPGs in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. RAFAEL, the Israeli Armament development authority, has been testing a system to defend against such attacks, and have found it to be "well above 90%" effective in killing RPGs. This system, dubbed TROPHY, is an Active Protection System that utilizes small buckshot to disintegrate an incoming rocket. The U.S. Army tested the system and found it to effective nearly 98.5% of the time, and the Office of Force Transformation agreed to purchase several at a cost of around $400,000 per unit for battlefield trials this year.
Yet according to an NBC News report, the U.S. Army has rejected the system. One may ask why, but it seems the answer may be simple: The Army has a $70 million contract with Raytheon to develop a similar system (part of the Army’s massive modernization program dubbed Future Combat System), which won’t be ready until at least 2011. NBC News asked pointed questions, but even Raytheon refused comment on whether that timetable is even accurate. NBC even has documents purporting to show that an Army General threatened a Navy engineer for recommending the TROPHY system.
The Israeli system is being marketed by General Dynamics, a U.S. company, and could even be doing the assembly work here in the U.S. Should the lives of our troops be traded for political favors to large contractors such as Raytheon?
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