Germany considering Israeli defense system to protect tanks from RPGs

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems testing the TROPHY system on Germany’s Leopard 2.

January 27, 2019 15:46
2 minute read.
German Leopard 2 tanks of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle goup attend Iron Tomahawk

German Leopard 2 tanks of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle goup attend Iron Tomahawk exercise in Adazi, Latvia. (photo credit: REUTERS/INTS KALNINS)

Israel’s TROPHY active protection systems (APSs) might soon be supplied to Germany for it’s Leopard 2 main battle tank, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will be testing the system on the Leopard 2 later this year along with the tank’s manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmenn.

According to a report by defense site Defense-Update, the details were disclosed at the International Armored Vehicles (IAV) event which took place last week in London.

The report said that the initial trials on the Leopard 2 are expected to begin this year, with the system’s integration and testing completed by 2021. A total of 17 tanks will be equipped with the APS, with a unit training and qualifying to operate it by the following year.

The unit is expected to be combat ready by 2023 and join a Germany’s deployment to NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the report added.

Germany’s Bundeswehr operates 328 Leopard 2 tanks of three types – the 2A6, 2A6M and 2A7. The Leopard 2 has also served in the militaries of 12 other countries and several non-European nations, including Canada, Indonesia and Turkey, and seen combat in Afghanistan and Syria, where they suffered heavy losses from anti-tank guided missiles.

The Trophy Active Protection System (APS), developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world. According to Rafael, the company has provided some 1,000 systems to all major IDF ground combat platforms.

Designed to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles, the Trophy system has four radar antennas and fire-control radars to track incoming threats such as anti-tank-guided-missiles (ATGMs), and rocket propelled grenades. Once a projectile is detected, the Trophy system fires a shotgun-type blast to neutralize the threat.

The system received its “baptism by fire” on March 1, 2011, when it neutralized an RPG antitank rocket which was fired at short range toward an IDF Merkava Mark-IV tank near the Gaza Strip border.

The system has since proved its efficacy in several operations, especially during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, where IDF tanks were able to operate in the Gaza Strip without suffering any losses.

The United States military has purchased the system for its M1A2 Abrams battle tanks for the US Army and Marine Corps.

Rafael and its US-based partner, Leonardo DRS, received a contract initially worth up to $79.6 million to provide additional Trophy systems to equip every MIA2 in four armored brigades, two of which will be deployed to Europe.

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