According to the weekly Bamachane magazine published by the IDF, the first tank platoon of Merkava-4 tanks has been outfitted with advanced Windbreaker system against anti-tank rockets.
Other tanks are slated to be outfitted with the new armor but this will depend on government decisions regarding planned cuts in defense spending. The system carries a price tag of $150,000-$200,000, permitting its advanced operational abilities to intercept a rocket before it can strike.
The Israeli-designed system was delayed due to budgetary cuts. Tests in the field during training exercises have been lauded a major success. After the Second Lebanon War, the monetary considerations took a back seat to the painful realities of that war, prompting the decision to move ahead with the Rafael Industries system.
Since the end of 2008, Merkava-4 tanks rolling off the assembly line are equipped with the Windbreaker defense system. There is a desire to adopt the system for the new generation anti personnel carries (APC) but this too awaits budgetary approval.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)