The US Army awarded a contract worth $193 million for Israel’s Trophy active defense system (APS) to shield its Abrams tanks “in support of immediate operational requirements,” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has announced.the Trophy system is designed to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles, and includes four 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.Under the terms of the contract, the systems, countermeasures and maintenance kits will be supplied by the American defense contractor Leonardo DRS, Inc., which partnered with Rafael to manufacture them.The systems will be manufactured both in the United States and Israel.The Trophy 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 Israeli ground combat platforms.“Rafael has provided protection solutions to US service members for over two decades via lifesaving passive and reactive armor on vehicles such as Bradley, Stryker and AAV7. We are excited to continue to do so with Trophy,” said Moshe Elazar, executive vice president of Rafael and head of its land and naval division. “The majority of Trophy components are manufactured by the American defense industry and we are excited by the opportunity to increase manufacturing in the US, including for Israeli systems, as the US acquires additional systems.”According to a 2016 US Army training handbook on foreign weapon systems, “The anti-tank guided missile is the single greatest threat to tanks today,” with a variety of platforms to launch them continuing to increase.Maj.-Gen. David Bassett, who is in charge of the US Army’s programs in the area of ground combat systems, was quoted by the Defense Tech website in August as saying he ultimately envisioned “a brigade’s worth of capability of Trophy on the Abrams,” one of the most heavily armored vehicles in existence.“Leonardo DRS is proud to be a part of this important effort to bring life-saving technology to our warfighters, and we are actively investing to ensure Trophy provides a solid, American-made foundation for the army’s coming Vehicle Protection Suite program,” said Aaron Hankins, vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS land systems division. “This award is the culmination of several years of hard work by a strong, bi-national government/industry team to protect our warfighters and address a critical capability gap in our armored formations,” he added.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 received its “baptism by fire” on March 1, 2011, when it neutralized an RPG anti-tank rocket fired from a short range toward a Merkava Mark-IV tank close to the border with the Gaza Strip.The system has since proved its efficacy in several operations, especially during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, in which IDF tanks were able to operate in the Gaza Strip without suffering any losses.Speaking at the US Army’s annual convention and exhibition in Washington last year, Col. Glenn Dean, the project manager of the Stryker Brigade combat team at Combat Ground Systems was quoted by Military.com as saying the Israeli-made system “exceeded expectations.”“I tried to kill the Abrams tank 48 times and failed,” he said.