US specialist praises ‘Trophy’ success

IDF calls successful use of anti-tank missile defense system ‘historic’ occasion; America expected to show interest in technology.

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March 6, 2011 02:11
2 minute read.
merkava 88 248

merkava 88 248. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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While the American military is waiting for verification of an incident Tuesday afternoon in which the IDF reported that the “Trophy” anti-tank missile defense system stopped an anti-tank missile fired by a Gaza Strip militant, the first-ever successful battlefield application of a defensive system of its sort is impressive, the US army said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the IDF greeted the 401st Armored Brigade’s successful use of the Trophy system with great excitement, calling the event “historic,” in that it was the first successful application of any system of its type not only in Israel, but in any country’s armed forces.

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In August 2009, the IDF declared the Trophy operational and began outfitting a battalion of tanks with the system. Developed jointly by Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries, it is an Active Protection System (APS) that stops incoming projectiles by spraying a small blast of buckshot-like material in their path.

US army public affairs specialist William J. Layer told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that platforms like the Trophy, if successful, will always be sought out by the US army.

Is the US army interested in acquiring the Trophy defense system? “The US army is interested in any active protection system with the capabilities to defeat an advanced threat Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM). Rafael’s Trophy (ASPRO-A) is one of several Active Protection Systems that the US army and Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) is examining to fill combat vehicle survivability requirements outlined in the Vehicle CDDs.”

Does an incident like this where the system proves effective in battle make it more likely that the Pentagon will seek to acquire it? “In order to ensure any APS meets the US military’s requirements, systems would have to be thoroughly evaluated before being mounted to any of our vehicles.



The US army and PEO GCS would develop a Request For Proposal (RFP) and follow the selection process.”

Does the US army have a similar defense system in place already? “The US army continues efforts in the tech base for APS systems, but has not fielded one as of date. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is also conducting a live fire evaluation of several worldwide APS systems for possible/potential application to a tactical wheeled vehicle.”

How would the Pentagon respond to an incident like this? “Events are verified and an analysis is conducted for a classified field report. We then examine the potential added value in the development, integration, testing and fielding of any APS system, along with confirmation of a valued threat that would justify the APS system costs.”

Are they impressed that the system worked? “Given that the environment surrounding this incident has not been verified, it would be premature to speculate on the results. Any APS that works and saves lives is impressive. This gives the US army positive reviews for APS development for our ground tracked combat vehicles.”

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