Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and US-based defense contractor Leonardo DRS announced Wednesday that they have completed 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 Army’s efforts to outfit multiple brigades of tanks with APS to protect soldiers from 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."
Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks and the ongoing proliferation of those threats, Trophy APS provides mature, combat-proven protection against rockets and missiles while simultaneously locating and reporting the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response.
"Rafael is a leader in providing protection capabilities, both reactive armor and active protection. The threat of anti-armor weapons is growing and we were grateful to bring this life-saving technology to the U.S. to meet an urgent need," said Michael Lurie, VP, head of Rafael's Land Survivability and Maneuverability directorate. "While COVID-19 created challenges for on-time deliveries, we used our resources and capabilities to facilitate on-schedule deliveries. With our partner Leonardo DRS, we remain committed to supporting the Army and providing increased protection to U.S. forces on a timely basis."
Trophy is the only fully integrated, combat-proven APS in the world. In addition to the U.S. Abrams tanks, Trophy is currently installed on the IDF's Merkava main battle tanks and Namer APCs. It 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.
While Leonardo DRS and Rafael have completed these initial Trophy system deliveries to the U.S. Army, the partnership is also under contract for additional support and development work for future U.S. Abrams tanks. The U.S. Army is also assessing the next generation "Trophy VPS," a smaller, lighter, equally-capable variant of Trophy that will provide protection to a broader range of U.S. ground combat vehicles.