Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd has announced that its ‘Trophy Active Protection System’ has 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.

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“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.”

Brig. Gen (Ret.) Michael Lurie, head of Rafael’s land maneuverability systems directorate:

“Trophy APS has saved the lives of numerous soldiers and has been instrumental in protecting assets on the battlefield and enabling tank crews to maneuver safely under anti-tank fire and perform their missions safely and fully. This system has changed the rules of the game in the armored warfare arena, and the U.K.’s decision to choose Trophy for the protection of its crews, ushers in a new era for its armored forces as well. We are thankful to our UK partners for joining other nations and tier-1 armored corps who have put their trust in Rafael’s Trophy APS.”

British Army to Rafael's Trophy Active Protection System on Challenger 3 Main Battle Tanks - MilitaryLeak

Colonel Will Waugh, Programme Director – Armour Main Battle Tank Programme, said,

“This is an exciting moment for the Army as we make the first steps towards an Active Protection System capability for the CR3 Main Battle Tank. This technology, already battle proven with our international allies and partners, will deliver a step change in protection against guided and unguided anti-tank weapons – a threat that continues to proliferate around the world and grow in lethality. This marks another step forward in delivering a modernised Main Battle Tank able to defeat any threat it might meet in the future.”

Trophy APS is the only fully-integrated, combat-tested APS in the world.

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AlexS
AlexS
21 days ago

With US and Germans choosing Trophy for their tanks, i think it was a done deal. The other kid in town is Ironfist, i think the Dutch CV90 will get it.

The interesting thing of this buy is that it seems to be a lighter Trophy version. Power/weight issues?

Ron5
Ron5
21 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Actually it will be the Trophy MV which is in the middle of the Trophy range. It’s a lighter, more up to date package than the original heavyweight and is less expensive.

You should not fear, no capability has been sacrificed.

AlexS
AlexS
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Excellent

Positroll
Positroll
21 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Germany only got trophy for 20 tanks for its Lithuanian battle group, with newly built hulls.
The rest of the fleet will almost certainly get RMs new ADS instead.
Why? Because trophy uses radar (big no no when fighting Russians with lots of arty), which needs lots of electricity, which requires big generators, which dont fit the old Leo hulls.
Its also less dangerous to dismounts.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

The Trophy system can either have the radar activated by either the laser warner or the IR detector, or it is on constantly. Without radar or lidar there is no way for the tank’s ADS to know the distance or the velocity of the incoming threat. Rafael say that the low power radar has a low probability of intercept.

Positroll
Positroll
19 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

“Without radar or lidar there is no way for the tank’s ADS to know the distance or the velocity of the incoming threat.” Rheinmetall disagrees with you: “The protection mechanism is complex and demands intelligent interaction between various high-tech components. High-performance sensors (pre-warners) have the vehicle’s surroundings in view at all times as part of 360-degree protection. If they detect an incoming projectile, for example, in the near zone that they are monitoring, they immediately report this threat to a central processing unit, which activates further electro-optical sensors. The projectile is identified and its precise flight data calculated. Once this… Read more »

Porter
Porter
1 day ago
Reply to  Positroll

Ironically enough the trophy system itself was developed by a German company, Rafaele just bought it from them.
You will find this pattern with a lot of “Israeli designed” systems.

dan
dan
20 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

So that only leaves 20 tanks without an APS then. lol

farouk
farouk
21 days ago

So let me get this right, the MOD which funded the medusa soft kill program in 2016 to the tune of £7.6M which was completed in 2019 was followed by funding project ‘Icarus’, in 2017 to the tune of £10 million which looked at the feasibility of fitting our armour with an Hard kill Active Protection System which was completed in 2020 is now looking at yet another trail and I quote from the British army press release: Pioneering new technology for Challenger 3 tank A key step forward in the development of the Challenger 3 main battle tank has been… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
21 days ago
Reply to  farouk

So you think they should fit Trophy without any kind of testing? Seems a mite stupid.

farouk
farouk
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

After 4 years of review, the MOD have decided to trial Trophy light which in itself will take another 4 years and then the MOD have only set their sights on purchasing 60 sets. The attached screen dump shows how different Trophy light is. :
So in a nutshell having dragged their feet, the wonks at the MOD have decided to go for the cheapest and least effective version and just to ensure there are plenty of jollies they have decided to drag their feet for another 4 years.

Opera Snapshot_2021-06-30_175835_below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com.png
Last edited 21 days ago by farouk
AlexS
AlexS
21 days ago
Reply to  farouk

This is LV not MV that Ron5 writes above..

Ron5
Ron5
21 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

He’s confused poor soul. As well as wanting the MoD to buy a system without any testing, he’s got the wrong system. The system the UK is buying used to be called Trophy Light but it changed it’s name to Trophy MV some years ago and afterwards, a new Trophy LV was introduced. So the range now has 3 types. The MV is in the middle and is a lighter, more current version of the original heavyweight system. Its performance has been demonstrated to be equivalent to the original system. But as you said, it’s not the LV that he’s… Read more »

farouk
farouk
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Ron,
It may help your case if you had a butchers at the Rafael Trophy sales brochure , they are only offering 2 versions of trophy. HV and LV.:
https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Trophy-Family-brochure.pdf

farouk
farouk
20 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

The Trophy family brochure as per the Rafael website:
https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Trophy-Family-brochure.pdf

there is no MV version

Ron5
Ron5
19 days ago
Reply to  farouk

This article offers an explanation as to why you are so confused. In a nutshell it says HV has been dropped and replaced with MV. and undergone a rename.

Which supports my statement that selection of MV does not mean a reduction in capability. Just weight & cost.

https://www.overtdefense.com/2021/06/24/trophy-mv-aps-to-be-integrated-on-challenger-3-for-trials/

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

So just to clarify the position . How many versions of Trophy are actually available now , what are they called…and what version are we getting ?

Johan
Johan
19 days ago
Reply to  farouk

It states a Test fitting to ensure it works with the CH3, no one is going to fit anything without ensuring the following. 1/ IT WORKS. 2/ IT CAN BE DELIVERED. 3/ ITS VALUE FOR MONEY. as just chucking darts at a wish list, bearing in mind Army issued a Procurement for Land Rover Replacements and wanted top of the Range LR Defenders @ £45k each. for Range work and when tested was not suitable and a £25k Pick up was selected. £20k saving by testing….

Rob N
Rob N
17 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Who says they are just getting 60 sets? I thought the idea was to have fewer upgraded tanks but fully equip them. If there are only 60 I am sure they could get more as an urgent operational requiement.

Matt Harding
Matt Harding
21 days ago

Not a big surprise, but welcome nonetheless.

Mike
Mike
21 days ago

Fantastic news, this is exactly what is needed, and is long overdue. APS is what in my opinion sets tank generations apart.

farouk
farouk
21 days ago

For those who want to know a little more about Active Protection Systems and what is out there, this geezer knocked out a post 4 years ago on the very subject, well worth a butchers:
https://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com/2017/01/hardkill-aps-overview.html

Mark B
Mark B
21 days ago

If it works – don’t knock it!

dan
dan
21 days ago

Can the Trophy intercept a missile like the Javelin that dives down on the tank from above? From what I’ve seen the Trophy doesn’t have any interceptors pointing directly up.

farouk
farouk
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

The full version can, but the light version can’t

DaveyB
DaveyB
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

Think of Trophy as a turreted claymore mine that fires a sheet of tungsten cubes with a narrow spread at the threat. The tank will have two separate and independently moveable turrets. These each have over 180 degrees of lateral movement and can depress to ground level as well as provide top attack protection. The tank will not need to turn the turret towards the threats direction unlike Afghanit used on the T90 and T14 tanks. However, the Trophy’s radar will fix the position of the shooter. On the Merkava it will align the turret and gun on the shooter’s… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago

I believe only 60 systems.

The rest of the 148 Ch3 will be FFBNW.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
21 days ago

Does every tank on the US 4 armoured brigades have it? Is there intended to be any further tranches for the CH3?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
21 days ago

I have no idea on either TBH.

Means we either only ever deploy 1 regiment at a time or if both brigades deploy as part of a divisional effort which is still an army aspiration half the tanks have no APS.

The APS for CH3 is welcome of course but only 60 seems poor. Our regiments are Type 56 I think so that’s 100 plus deployable tanks.

Jacko
Jacko
21 days ago

Yes but if all 148 are wired for it then it shouldn’t be a problem to buy some more if needed.

Pete
Pete
21 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Other than lead time and price in a heightened time of need. Hopefully the MOD team will negotiate into the primary contract reasonable call-off terms for optional volumes in the future.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
20 days ago

% wise a greater proportion of the CR2 fleet will be fitted compared to practically anyone else around.

grizzler
grizzler
19 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

So THATS why they reduced the size of the CR2 fleet then … 😉

Sonik
Sonik
17 days ago

I wouldn’t get too hung up on the numbers. I’m thinking maybe it’s just a cautious development approach to see how it goes, with possibility to add more sets as the systems get cheaper in future.

The other thing I find interesting is that the non upgraded C2 will be retained as ‘spares’, but since pretty much everything is being replaced apart from the hull, I’m wondering if the option is being kept open for a possible ‘batch 2’?

Rob N
Rob N
17 days ago

That is the source for tge only 60?

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
21 days ago

A ‘cohort of our industry delivery partners’

Sheesh…

Rogbob
Rogbob
21 days ago

I cannot imagine what it must be like to get up in the morning, go to work and then come home having verbal dihorrea like that to show for one’s consumption of life energy.

“Hey kids, dad/mum specialises in stringing together lots of unnessecary words to make things sound grander and more complex than they are, whilst knowing nobody gives a feck about what they write as everyone knows its utter BS. Now, if you work hard at school you could do this too one day!”

Well, at least it makes me feel much better about my day 🙂

Ron5
Ron5
21 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

The phrase uses correct English and is factually correct.

In American it might be written as “happy they’re linking up with our bunch of subcontractors”.

In England, maybe as: “we be over the moon about them lads joinin’ our mates wot is sellin’ us bits n’ pieces”.

Rogbob
Rogbob
21 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

It is in fact, against MoD writing policy.

Its complete BS and is written to make something utterly mundane (MoD has industry suppliers contracted to do things) look more impressive because they have nothing else to say and everything has to be polished, especially turds.

To a reader it stands out as being guff produced by idiots who think this is appropriate or has any impact or indeed, value. It takes credibility away from the other content.

How about just “our contractors”. 2 words, correct, nobody wastes time reading something that is utter triv.

Ron5
Ron5
20 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Well I just did reading your comment.

Rogbob
Rogbob
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Errr dont read it then? Really, I’m easy about it!

Ron5
Ron5
19 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Hard to determine it’s pretentious rubbish without reading it first.

Rogbob
Rogbob
19 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Odd, I kind of knew that before I read yours…

Nearly everyone knows it before they read what the OP highlighted. But hey, I suppose someone somewhere has to like BS.

Mark
Mark
21 days ago

Can this not be fitted inside a pod or slung under under the belly of large aircraft? I’m sure Chinooks would be a prime asset for this to be fitted to along with Apache?

Ron5
Ron5
21 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Needs to be on an armored vehicle given the backspray of lethal fragments. One use and the Chinook would go down in flames.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Israel put the Trophy radar and controller on a CH53 a while back as part of a trial. I’m not sure if they also tried fitting the hard kill effectors? But they didn’t follow up on it. Part of the problem I believe, is the method Trophy uses to kill a threat. The effector begins as a relatively flat sheet that’s fired at the threat which breaks up into tungsten cubes. This is really effective at shredding the noses of anti-tank guided missiles and RPGs. It has also shown that it can smash the nose of a HEAT shell, preventing… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
20 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Trophys can’t even be mounted side by side because firing one would damage the other. Fitting them on an aircraft is not going to happen.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Depends on the aircraft. The protective plate behind the effector turret is there to prevent the back blast hitting the crew, if they are stood up through the hatches. A “shotgun” type of efector has too many disadvantages when fitted to an aircraft, even a helicopter. So if in the future aircraft do get a hard kill self protection system they will be like mini-missiles or steerable munitions.

Ron5
Ron5
19 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It’s an armored vehicle dude. Aircraft are not armored.

DaveyB
DaveyB
19 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

A little known fact, we only lost 1 Chinook due to an RPG hit, but nearly lost another 4 Chinooks to RPGs during the campaign in Afghanistan. The reason they weren’t was down to luck more than anything else. The RPGs would pass straight through a blade or the the skin without detonating. However, the aircraft were constantly being hit by small arms fire, so armour was fitted around the pilots and in the cabin (floor and walls only). The armour proved sufficient to protect the passengers even from armour piercing 12.7mm rounds. I am not sure why or how,… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
21 days ago

Am I right in thinking that Challenger 3 is basically a ‘pimped’ Challenger 2 ???

I’ve read a few things recently that have made me question this. Apologies for being a bit confused on all of this.

BigH1979
BigH1979
21 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Seems that Challenger 3 is probably as much of a departure from Challenger 2 as Challenger 2 was from Challenger 1…if that makes sense? In essence though anything that changes from ‘Widget 1’ to ‘Widget 2’ is only going to be a pimped version or else they would give it a different name entirely.

dan
dan
8 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Getting the 120mm smooth bore gun is a big capability upgrade for the Challenger in itself.

Sonik
Sonik
20 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

It might as well be a complete rebuild. New turret, new gun, new suspension, new optics and targeting systems, upgraded engines, new gearbox, new APS.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  Sonik

It’s the tank equivalent to Trigger’s broom.

Rob N
Rob N
17 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It is a true pimped whip!

It will probably be the best tank in NATO.

Nic
Nic
20 days ago

I hope that challenger 3 goes ahead smoothly without any hiccups.

Ron5
Ron5
20 days ago
Reply to  Nic

The army is due for a procurement win. Ordering from an experienced manufacturer rather than GD UK or LM UK, is a good first step.

Ron
Ron
20 days ago

Possibly a stupid question but could this system be used on ships?

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron

They already have an active protection system, i.e. Aster 15/30, SeaCeptor and Phalanx.

Steve
Steve
20 days ago

Realistically we need active protection on every armoured vehicle, to ensure they can safely operate under fire. The CH seem to only be a tiny part of this puzzle

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi Steve, yes, I agree, otherwise we have multiered levels of protection across fleet. Why can’t all 148 CH3s be done to the same level of upgrade as it’s such a small number anyway? Are these units transferable between tanks so if those tanks FFBNW can still be utilised and upgraded if required?

Sonik
Sonik
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I would guess that the APS equipped C3 will be deployed to the Baltics and the training units at BATUS, Salisbury plain etc. don’t really need the expensive APS. Perhaps training can also be done in synthetic environment.

But anyway it’s probably much easier to move the APS hardware between vehicles (possible by airlift) than to move the vehicles around as required. And C3 looks to be pretty good even without the APS.

dan
dan
20 days ago

Wonder how many “rounds” the Trophy system carries? Like if an enemy fires 5 ATGMs at the tank’s left side over the course of a few hours does it have enough to counter all of them.

Last edited 20 days ago by dan
DaveyB
DaveyB
20 days ago
Reply to  dan

The original system only carried 1 immediate reload. I think this has changed as Leonardo have made a new reload system for it. Also from the number of times a Merkava has been targeted, the IDF won’t be complacent in protecting the tank.

dan
dan
8 days ago

I wonder how an RPG-30 will fare against Trophy?