Bradley APC .
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A new and lightweight version of Israel’s Trophy active defense system neutralized more than 95% of munitions fired at it in tests conducted this summer ahead of testing for the US Army’s Stryker armored vehicle.
The lengthy live-fire qualification process for key elements of the lighter weight Trophy Vehicle Protection System (VPS) was conducted at an official test range in Israel by Leonardo DRS Inc. and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and was monitored by program officials from the US, NATO and other allied nations, as well as experts.
According to Rafael, the Trophy VPS has material and component upgrades which allows for a 40% weight reduction and improved power management “with no reduction in its proven ability to protect against the full range of direct fire, anti-armor rocket and missile threats.”
The testing, which was carried out on an American Bradley Fighting Vehicle, included more than 300 live scenarios with anti-tank guided missiles, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and other munitions which aimed to challenge key aspects of the system’s upgraded hard kill defeat mechanism.
The scenarios also tested different aspects of the system’s performance against different combinations of threats and environmental conditions.
The “threat defeat performance was well over 95% and demonstrated Trophy’s automatic networked Fire Source Location ability,” read the statement released by Rafael, adding that the Trophy VPS will next be demonstrated in the US on the Stryker platform to the Stryker program office.
“Rafael is encouraged by the extensive presence of US and international visitors at the tests,” said Moshe Elazar, executive vice president and head of Rafael’s land and naval division. “It shows the growing understanding that system maturity is not just a phrase. We are guaranteeing lower programmatic risk to our customers by leveraging proven performance and broad integration experience on main battle tanks, IFVs, 8x8s, etc.”
Meanwhile, the two companies are continuing to demonstrate Trophy’s compliance with the US Modular APS standard.
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, and rocket propelled grenades.
Once a projectile is detected, the Trophy system fires a shotgun-type blast to neutralize the threat.
The Trophy has been installed on Israel’s Merkava tanks since 2009, it has also been installed on the IDF’s Namer heavy infantry fighting vehicle and the IDF’s new armored personnel carrier, the Eitan.
The Trophy system is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world, proving its efficacy in several operations, especially during Operation Protective Edge where IDF tanks were able to operate in the Gaza Strip without suffering any losses.
In June, the US Army awarded a contract worth close to $200 million for the system to shield its Abrams tanks “in support of immediate operational requirements.”
“DRS and our Rafael partner have listened closely to our customers and these activities represent our continuing investment in meeting their needs,” said Aaron Hankins, vice president and general manager of the DRS land systems division in September.
“We are leaning forward to bring added capabilities to Trophy for the Army’s Vehicle Protection System program.”
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