The Rafael ‘Trophy Active Protection System’ was selected for the British Army’s Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank, it has now moved into the next phase of trials.

A contract award notice states that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in Haifa, Israel, has been awarded a £4.5m contract for Challenger 3 Active Protection System Phase 2A Trials.

The above is a brief summary of what is involved in converting tanks to ‘Challenger 3’ standard. The Active Protection System is no longer subject to contract, ‘Trophy’ has been selected.

Rafael last year announced that its ‘Trophy Active Protection System’ had been selected for the next phase of detailed assessment and integration by the Ministry of Defence for the British Army’s Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank.

The firm say that the selection is a result of a study conducted by the MoD as part of the upgrade programme led by prime contractor Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), which will entail detailed integration and system trials of this lighter Trophy variant (Trophy MV), to fit the particular requirements of this vehicle.

Click to enlarge

“Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks, Trophy APS provides mature, combat-proven protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response. Trophy is the only fully integrated, combat-proven APS in the world and has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010, and has also been installed on the Namer APCs. Trophy has also been supplied to four U.S. Army Abrams MBT brigades, and will soon be supplied to Germany for its Leopard MBTs.

Trophy has made numerous combat interceptions with no injuries to crews or dismounted troops or damage to platforms since its first operational interception in 2011. Trophy has accrued over 1,000,000 operating hours, including 5,400 successful field tests, and is now under contract for serial production of over 1,800 systems.”

You can see the system in action below.

David Farmer, Team Leader for the Challenger 3 delivery team at Defence, Equipment & Support, the procurement arm of the U.K. MOD, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Rafael to our cohort of industry delivery partners who are working together to bring Challenger 3 to life. This is a significant program for Defence, and the British Army and represents a huge shift in the modernization of our land forces. The pioneering new technology that we are planning to use will allow us to deliver an immense warfighting capability.”

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SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
7 days ago

A badly needed defensive capability considering the small number of C3 to be acquired and the lack of depth in the fleet.

maurice10
maurice10
7 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

Totally agree, with so few vehicles being produced survival is vital to give the tank and crew the best choices. The only factor is the weight trade off and off road speed? Personally, I’m happy with the retention of CH2/3 as the UK needs to develop MBT technologies and skills to maintain an independent manufacturing capability. Admittedly, CH3 is a melange of components from many national and international suppliers, and the MOD needs to be mindful of this when procuring spares. I feel a lobby needs to be formed to ensure the residue of CH2’s are not cast but retained… Read more »

Pmichael
Pmichael
7 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

It’s basically all German engineering on the CH3. Actually not the worst outcome.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  Pmichael

The engines and the sights i think are still British.

Pmichael
Pmichael
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

The design engineering comes from the German side of RBSL. It doesn’t really matter if an IR sensor is a Thales product built in the UK.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

I would agree Steve, they had better be as good as predicted, with a clear and leading advantage over potential adversaries…

Poland is sensibly buying 300 plus Abrams, clearly serous about maintaining a potent Armoured capability.

The UK is sidelining MBT’s as a ‘niche’ capability moving forward.

I expect a Gulf War type of operation in the 2030’s, will have a Polish Armoured Division taking the place that we once had at Americas side.

We will be providing support and refreshments at the rear, washing tanks, jam sandwiches and tea,coffee etc..

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hope your right. Then the Poles can enjoy all the benefits we gained from paying the ‘blood price’

Tim
Tim
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I’m not sure Poland has the logistical power to put 100 tanks in a different country let alone 300 and 1 armoured division is one hell of a lot of firepower and we can put them wherever we want in the world unlike Poland

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

But will Poland have the capability to deploy it’s tanks outside of its borders for extended periods?

john clark
john clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Sorry guys, I was being a tad ‘tongue in cheek’ about it. Could Poland mobilise a Division and deploy it, not yet, but if they start using all US equipment, then the US will deploy and support them in theatre, if the will is there. Poland has played a blinder in my opinion, using Uncle Sam as it’s go to supplier, allows them to build one of the most capable Armed forces in continental Europe (second only to France) and do it all at a sensible cost, leveraging in on US funded upgrades and systems improvements. They are certainly building… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  john clark

After reading what Belarus and Russia are up to on the Polish border, I am fully behind Poland’s reasons for upgrading their armed forces.

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Spot on Davey, Poland has got their shit together when it comes to the future threats and know they are becoming the tip of the NATO ground spear!

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Absolutely…..

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Agree Poland has been repeatedly subject to land invasion over the last 100 years. So a powerful army able to take and hold their territory is exactly what they need.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Absolutely Davey. They are building a robust capability and proving they are the No1 reliable European power to the US, right behind (or perhaps alongside) the UK.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago
Reply to  john clark

That is not true. Poland definitely does not have the 2nd most capable armed forces in Europe 2nd only to France. What the heck? Poland has 2 ageing kilo class subs retiring soon as worn out. No clear replacement funded or ordered. Vs UK 7 SSNs of 1st rate order. Poland has no aircraft carriers. Vs uk with 2. Poland has no air defence specialist destroyers. Uk has 2. Uk has Eurofighter typhoon and now 24 in service f35Bs. Poland has….old mig 29s and i believe some relatively old F16s. In summary. Poland probably has the 2nd best equipped army… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Typo uk has 6 type 45s destroyers. Not 2. Just before someone wants to correct me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The British Army aspires to being able to deploy a warfighting division in 2025, as I recall.However that was said before the announcedment of a 10,000 reduction earlier this year.
It will be some time before we can call our army ‘well-equipped’.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
6 days ago
Reply to  john clark

And they are developing some very effective technologies of their own, particularly in loitering munitions

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

And the ability to move them it seems.

“The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence announced that it has launched a tendering procedure concerning semi-trailer-based main battle tank/armour transporters. The process above may concern more than 100 vehicles as such, easily making this the largest undertaking of this type to date.”

https://www.defence24.com/poland-to-procure-over-100-tank-transporters

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Quite right about Poland as they are becoming the tip of the NATO spear, and rightly so as it’s a landlocked European nation with a recent long term memory of the reality of communism. But post sadly let down by final paragraph, tongue in cheek I’m hoping, otherwise a sad and serious lack of knowledge in regard to the UKs defence capabilities…I stand to be corrected and directed to your meaning, thank you in advance.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Evening Airborne, very much tongue and cheek mate, I said that very thing in response to Robert Blay a few posts up👍

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Already clocked your reply to Robert after I posted! Your still spot on about the Polish mate and it won’t be long before they can field a decent armoured Div in the field, and sustain it. Good for them as their main threat as at this time is the resurgent Russkies and their armoured formations. Europe are quite happy to let the Polish take the brunt of any future attack, but good for the Polish military for making decent efforts at ensuring they are as prepared as they can be! Cheers.

JohninMK
JohninMK
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Agree that Poland are intent on becoming the major continental army but the last time I looked Poland was on the Baltic, so hardly landlocked. Also Russia and Belarus seem to be intent on much closer integration both economically and militarily, clearly a future threat to be accounted for.

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The Polish thought process is that they are the spear and shield and still facing off the Russians. They are prioritising land and air, and Northern Europe is their concern.

JohninMK
JohninMK
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

They are in a difficult place geographically, the jam in the sandwich so to speak. By doing as you say they are trying to make themselves indigestible. Not sure that buying 300 Abrams would achieve that given the rapidly advancing AI in unmanned platforms like UAVs and rockets/missiles/shells. Mind you since the Soviets/Russians have not moved west in the last 70 years I think that the risk of them doing so in the next 30 must be pretty low. They have a much more powerful weapon now, natural gas.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
7 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

“Mind you since the Soviets/Russians have not moved west in the last 70 years”
You mean aside from Ukraine right?

Last edited 7 days ago by Tomartyr
DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Its all part of the puzzle of using and responding to combined arms. At least by having a higher number of vehicles they have the numbers to allow for attrition, unlike the UK.

I wonder if the Abrams they are getting is the full fat version (with DU armour) and not the export version?

andy a
andy a
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

As far as I know the US never sells the top spec Abrams incase they have to fight them later. Im sure some one will correct me.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
6 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Landlocked, with submarines.

Airborne
Airborne
6 days ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

A couple of crap ones for a small Baltic coastline, but eh ho most posters know exactly what I mean! But can’t always get away from the bored typo police!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

It appears to be working well!
German Leopard 2 tested with Trophy APS for first time
02 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/german-leopard-2-tested-with-trophy-aps-for-first-time

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago

Trophy tests on German Leopards were just completed with success.

Meanwhile next Israeli AFV to replace Merkava, called project Carmel effectively started with the choice of the lead company. IAI won after demonstrating the feasibility of a 2 crew AFV with unmanned turret.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Hi AlexS,

Unmanned turrets seem to be the way to go. Apart from the obvious potential increase in fire power brought about by automating the loading cycle the reduced crew suze tends to allow for smaller frontal area which in turn can be exploited to significantly reduce weight and still improve the effectiveness of the armour.

This is the first time I have heard of a 2 person crewed tank mind, the new Russian tank has a 3 person crew. Will be interetsing to see how the Isrealis get on with their new tank when it enters service.

Cheers CR

BB85
BB85
7 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

They must think the integrated sensors and AI will give the commander enough real time data to perform both the target acquisition and gunner roles. You would think 3 is still optimal to avoid tunnel vision when focused on a target though

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Definitely, one to drive, one to shoot and one to look for the next target. Historically two man turrets were shown to be less efficient and unable to see the bigger picture. With today’s technology it is even easier to get overwhelmed with information. I’m pretty sceptical that a two man crew can not only operate the vehicle, but also fight it whilst coordinating with others.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Indeed, if you have only 2 crew the armoured box can be much reduced in volume.

Last edited 7 days ago by AlexS
Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Pity the poor buggers when the track comes off and they have to try an repair it!

Last edited 7 days ago by Daveyb
AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Yeah, you loose some capabilities to get more capabilities, if a tank is destroyed you don’t have 4 dead /hurt. The human logistic footprint including medical is also significantly less.
It is even possible that is overall better to have armoured support vehicles that goes with tank unit just for that propose.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Interesting. Thars one to watch. A potential Chally 3 replacement. The Israelis always make excellent MBTs. Merkava is a formidable weapon system and nothing any neighbouring country has can match it.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It’s one of the reasons the tank still uses the shorter L44 gun, the tank’s in the neighbouring countries are still within its penetration capabilities. All the neighbours tanks are the export variant, i.e. T90S and Abrams so don’t yet need the high pressure L55 gun. Though the Jordanian Challenger 1 with the Falcon turret might be an interesting opponnent.

http://fighting-vehicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Falcon-Turret-on-Challenger-1-Al-Hussein-Tank-2.jpg

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I doubt you’ll ever see that. I think the last time Israel and Jordan exchanged fire in anger, a short mortar exchange, the Beatles had just released the album Let it Be. Jordan may have turned up in 1973, but it was with the tacit understanding that neither side would actually shoot at the other.

Last edited 6 days ago by Jon
Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
7 days ago

Considering that great efforts are made to reduce electronic emissions on the battlefield, the radar for this system is presumably a neccessary evil.

DRS
DRS
7 days ago

Could they do a simple derivation of this system on an OPV/T31 to act as the last line of defence? Even on bigger ships eg carriers considering they may be in the mix in littoral waters where there someone with an RPG pops up from a small boat and fires a few or similar.

BB85
BB85
7 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Ships are far to large for the counter measures to be effective. APS is pretty much firing a glorified shot gun cartridge at the incoming missile to destroy the warhead before impacts the vehicle. It works if your a small target.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
7 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Simple? No!

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
7 days ago
Reply to  DRS

No…. Simply wouldn’t be worth the effort and expense for that sort of limited threat, force protection measures already in place around movements of small boats near warships are already pretty expansive. Get too close and you’ll get hosed down with a .50 cal or Minigun. But…there is an increasing threat from longer ranged ATGM’s against ships when operating close to shore. As ATGM’s have pushed out to 8km+ range they’ve started to threaten vessels operating inshore and landing craft making their way in to land. A solution for warships will inevitably come from the Miniature Interceptor missiles being developed… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Yes, it’s call CAMM or Sea Ceptor or Albatros NG.

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago

Trophy uses a combination of both passive and active sensors. It can continuously use its radar actively. Or, it can activate its radar if one of the IR sensors detects a threat. Once the threat has be validated, you need radar to give you the constantly updated 3D position of the incoming threat. A passive IR system cannot really do this with enough accuracy.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago

Seems like a very good idea, just wondering how effective such a system would be at protecting the MBT from something like Spear3, making a near vertical approach at speed?

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Trophy has been tested against Hellfire, which also can be programmed for a top attack. Rafael said the target vehicle was protected by the Trophy system, which infers it defeated the top attack.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

No it doesn’t. Just because Hellfire is capable of top attack, how do you know that was used in the trial?

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Because they fired a number of Hellfire from one of their Apaches at a M113 that was fitted with Trophy. They said the Hellfies used a number of attack profiles available to the missiles, which infers direct and top attack.

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

The pessimist in me, sees the MOD going down the route of having no need for an APS by simply getting rid of the MBT

peter fernch
peter fernch
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I think that decision hasallready been made witness the low numbers of tanks and the concentration on AJAX Thats worked out well hasnt it

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Reading between the lines of the press reports at the time the Def Sec/MoD wanted to scrap MBT’s but Cavalry lobby pushed back hard and in the end it was No 10’s decision to green light it. Could be wrong. If anyone knows more would be glad to hear it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 hours ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Certainly Wallace and some senior serving officers including CGS suggested that tanks had had their day and we needed to invest in new technologies. Wallace did a very public U-Turn later. What a strange man.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Here is an idea. Scrap ajax. Buy moreheavily armed reconaisance versions of boxer. Retain all chally2s but upgrade all of them with trophy aps. Result. A very heavily armed and armoured British Army. Maybe lacking in mobility but able to face down a Russian armoured force of similar size and win.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

We’ll get rid of the MBT when the threat nations do.

peter fernch
peter fernch
7 days ago

Problem is that the numbers are disasterly low. WE never order eneough numbers of anything. In particular Tanks 163 only its a laugh

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

I absolutely agree, it’s becoming an expensive niche capability, so few in number, I doubt they will ever deploy operationally.

Uncle Sam would probably say don’t bother turning up the party if you can’t bring a big enough bottle….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 hours ago
Reply to  peter fernch

Hadn’t you noticed? Our armed forces has reduced in manpower and platforms once or twice a decade since the end of the Korean War. There are no votes in Defence.

chris stocken
chris stocken
7 days ago

Could this system be adapted for ships?.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  chris stocken

Too short range.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  chris stocken

Better off with 40/57/76mm weapons and the right ammunition.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago

Agree. Ds30mm with martlett side mounts, 20mm phalanx, sea ceptor (which does have the ability to intercept small boats) 40mm bofors (type31s) 56mm bae gun (type31) all mean a trophy system isnt needed. If a threat gets too close the gunners up on deck can let loose with mini guns, gpmg, etc

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Trophy is more about intercepting incoming rounds before they impact.

GPMG and miniguns are great for getting rid of small boats.

The Ceptor/30/40/57mm all have capability against both threats.

I don’t think side mounted Martlet offered much the 40/57mm combo couldn’t offer. Bear in mind that 40/57mm ammunition is compact and not crazy expensive and so dynamic reloads from the magazine are a possibility.

Mike
Mike
7 days ago

Thank goodness, we have been years behind getting this technology on our tank fleet.

Andrew D
Andrew D
7 days ago

Never would of believed that the British would have so few Tank numbers ,what happened to our Army oh it’s called politician’s 😕

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Nope it’s called Generals.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Generals don’t press for defence cuts – quite the opposite.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Nope they just flush their budgets down the toilet time after time.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 hours ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Of course you realise that the Generals don’t actually have an equipment procurement budget? So what are they wasting their operating budgets on?

dave12
dave12
6 days ago

Well with 148 left I really dont care ,why bother at all its a token force like the army at the moment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 hours ago
Reply to  dave12

With a 72,500 regular trained army we could only deploy one or two BCTs, so 138 tanks fits that envelope. Not saying I am happy with either number. Despite the small size I am sure our politicians will still deploy the army, just at reduced scale.

dave12
dave12
2 minutes ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes true Graham but it does not make it right. As one former soviet general said the UK has the best light infantry in the world and the bastards get around a bit far to my liking.

JOHNT
JOHNT
5 days ago

I wonder how well such systems will cope against a foe with decent electronic warfare capabilities?

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  JOHNT

Radar has a very short range.

Brian Slack
Brian Slack
4 days ago

What is the power unit ?

Oleg Olkha
Oleg Olkha
1 day ago

“The Bundeskartellamt (Germany) announced on November 9th that the companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel), Krauss-Maffei Wegmann KMW (Germany) and General Dynamics European Land Systems GDELS (Spain) had registered the establishment of the joint venture Euro Trophy based in Munich . As a result, the Federal Cartel Office opened merger control proceedings that usually take a few weeks.” https://esut.de/2021/11/