Leonardo and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have announced that they have completed the delivery of Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) ordered by the U.S. Army for installation on Abrams main battle tanks.

This marks a major milestone in the U.S. Army’s efforts to outfit multiple brigades of tanks with APS to protect soldiers’ lives against increasing anti-armor threats.

“Under contracts awarded on an urgent need basis by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, the companies delivered the first APS systems in September 2019 for both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. A joint team of government and industry from both the U.S. and Israel worked together to adapt and integrate Trophy for the two services’ Abrams variants. This delivery culminates a multi-year effort by the Army to study and rapidly field active protection due to the urgency of the threat and the growing need for improved ground vehicle survivability.”

“It has been an honor to deliver these advanced defensive protection systems for our front-line tanks to give our warfighters a needed layer of survivability against real and emerging battlefield threats,” said Aaron Hankins, senior vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Systems business unit.

“Together with our Rafael partners, we worked tirelessly to ensure we met our customers’ needs while delivering ahead of schedule, and we look forward to supporting them with APS in the future.” he said.

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Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks and the ongoing proliferation of those threats, Trophy APS provides “combat-proven protection against rockets and missiles while simultaneously locating and reporting the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response”.

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

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George Royce
George Royce
8 months ago

Should we do the same for C2, or just begin a totally new tank project?

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Yes, definitely, as it will prolong the effectiveness of the Challenger, by adding what is effectively an additional layer of armour. But we should also be looking at a clean sheet design to replace it, that incorporates both an active and passive protection system as part of the core build. If there was a preference, I’d go with the Israeli Military Industries “Iron Fist”. This was mooted as part of the BAe Black Night upgrade along with a complete sensor and optics renewal, that got superseded by events. The US Army have gone with Trophy, as it is a battle… Read more »

George Royce
George Royce
8 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks for the lovely post. I wonder if we shouldn’t just start a new project instead of fitting out C2s with an APS system? Sooner or later, we have to. Even the Leopard will eventually need to be scrapped and replaced. Might as well start a research project now.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Just read in Janes, that the Dutch are getting new turrets for their CV90s. As part of the upgrade, they will be fitted with Iron Fist APS.

Steve
Steve
8 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Shouldn’t just be the challengers that get this, it should be all armored vehicles.

George Royce
George Royce
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Indeed. Every armoured vehicle should. It’s light enough for sure. Maybe ships should get something similar, albeit bigger, as a last-ditch saving grace tool

AlexS
AlexS
8 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

A new tank project does not precludes the need for an APS..
No tank old or new tank can survive without APS. Anti tank missiles are too powerful for current armor, unless some tech breakthrough happen it will remain so.
It is basically what happened 70 years ago to ships, battleship armor could not be all around.

Mark
Mark
8 months ago

Goes without saying, if (and big if) the challenger upgrade goes ahead nothing like this will be fitted due to it being far too 21st century for the archaic suited monkeys in the MOD ..

Herodotus
8 months ago

British Army vehicles often have a white chevron on them….do any of you army buffs know the significance. Polite responses only please 🙂

RobW
RobW
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Isn’t it so the Yankee Air Force doesn’t blow them up by mistake? The US army use them in different directions to signify which unit they belong to. If a tank didn’t have one it might be mistaken for an enemy vehicle by the USAF. Think it happened a few times in the Gulf Wars. That’s what I read anyway, could be cobblers of course.

dan
dan
8 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Maybe if you guys would buy more aircraft, ect you wouldn’t always need USAF support. lol

dave12
dave12
8 months ago
Reply to  dan

Not every nation can afford a superpowers budget, simple dan, oh and good buy trumpski never to be seen again lol!!

Jack
Jack
8 months ago
Reply to  dave12

*bye

dave12
dave12
8 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Thanks for the correction jack.

RobW
RobW
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

The US army have them to signify which company/unit they belong to. Everyone else had to paint them on their vehicles too or they may get mis-identified as enemy vehicles by the USAF and blown up. Happened in Iraq apparently. I read all this on a blog a few years ago, might be cobblers of course.

RobW
RobW
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Sorry posted a reply twice – it didn’t seem to work first time!

farouk
farouk
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

During the Gulf war (1991) I’m pretty sure that all US and UK vehicles had red panels issued to them , in which to try and mitigate friendly fire.

Herodotus
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

During that conflict a British Army APC, with a bloody big Union Jack on its roof, was taken out by a Maverick launched from an A10!

Farouk
Farouk
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

The red fluorescent air recognition panels were designed to be easily spotted a Union Jack isn’t, also and a big also there is a little thing called fog of war. The 2 A10s were informed that there were no friendly forces for 10km and spotted 37 armoured vehicles belonging to C company 3 RRF and Engineer support vehicles. After the Sappers had finished their task of battlefield dems, the order was given to get back on the bus and bug out, 1 Warrior exploded , followed by another. The 2 A10s had flown over the vehicles at 15000 ft and… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

It was these incidents during the first Gulf War that spurred on the development of friendly force trackers, such as Blue Force Tracker. By the second gulf War the majority of US Army vehicles had this mounted as did a good portion of ours. A lot of the support helicopters also had this fitted. The blue force Tracker system works over a satellite network where it combines a unique user id with the GPS coordinated to let anyone fusing the system, know where you are. It can be used to send test and video messages. The UK no longer uses… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Its like others have said it’s to identify at quick glance FF vehicles. Later on a system called blue force tracker was used, where it’s was a GPS type of system which would be visible on a computer system in the CC vehicle, able to plot where all FF were, and easily visible to all users.

Paul T
Paul T
8 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

In GW2 were those Gold Grids Mounted on Tanks and MBT’s Part of the System ?.

Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes Paul they were mate.

farouk
farouk
8 months ago

A little more information on the above story, the US only ordered 400 sets of the Trophy APS system for its tanks which is only meant to be fitted on deployable 4 armoured brigades . Its plans to fit their M2 Bradleys with the lighter Iron Fist was cut by congress last Feb

AlexS
AlexS
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Yes, it is mostly for brigades that are to be deployed in Europe. Those more at risk they will get in a war.