Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2016 Contents 44 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter NOV 2016
Trophy HV on M K4
incoming weapon, rocket or missile. The company
says that Trophy has an open architecture, and this
enables the easy integration of other weapon systems,
including a soft kill capability.
Importantly, the neutralization process takes place
only if the threat is about to hit the platform.
As an aside, this is the approach taken for the
area defence ‘Iron Dome’ anti-missile system, also
developed by Rafael.
Trophy was declared operational by the IDF in August
2009 and is currently in full production. Merkava Mk
4 tanks equipped with the system are presently being
deployed in combat areas along Israel's borders.
The technical data sheets of Trophy give a very
clear picture of the system's features. It begins with
360-degree protection, with an option to activate
single sectors of the system when necessary for the
protection of troops on the ground by detecting all
incoming threats and identifying their launch position.
Trophy has a very high elevation protection and can
neutralise threats fired from very short ranges.
When rockets and missiles come from more than one
direction, the system is capable of neutralizing them
simultaneously. According to Elazar, it is adaptable to
any combat platform with some adjustments.
When first deployed, the full Trophy HV system
weighed 800 kg, but since then its weight has
decreased and this process of improvement continues.
While the full HV version fits heavy tanks and APCs,
Rafael has developed lighter versions.
According to Elazar, the Trophy-MV has the same
capabilities as the full heavier system. It weighs
450kg and is meant for light and medium-weight
(10-30 ton) vehicles,
This version of Trophy can be mounted on almost
any vehicle in military use. The smaller size and
weight, according to Elazar, does not impair the
When an active protection system is launching
something to defeat an incoming threat there is always
the question of collateral damage, mainly to infantry
soldiers. Sources say that the systems’ average
collateral damage is estimated at a <1% chance of a
dismounted soldier being injured by Trophy.
As would be expected, the system has created huge
interest in armies around the world. Rafael is reluctant
to discuss any detail of export deals, but on April 2016
we learned from U.S media that the U.S Marine Corps
plans to buy or lease active protection systems (APS)
for its M1A1 Abrams MBTs – essentially the same
vehicles used by the Australian Army and which will
undergo a significant upgrade in the near future.
At that time, Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, deputy
commandant of the Marine Corps for combat
development and integration, told members of the
Senate Armed Ser vices subcommittee that the ser vice
should approach vehicle protection as it does with
“As we started to get threats on our aircraft,
fixed wing and helicopters from infrared missiles,
we quickly put on capabilities to defeat those type
of missiles. Now we see the threat on the ground
changing, becoming much more sophisticated.
What we’ve continued to do is to put on more armor.
We’ve got to start thinking of higher technology
capability with vehicle protective systems (APS),
which can defeat anti-tank guided missiles, RPGs,
and top down threats we face, along with soft kill
this is what our aircraft have. We need the same
technology for our vehicles.”
“It can take us a long time to develop APS,” Walsh
continued, saying that the Marines are following rapid
prototyping approaches to gain better understanding
of those capabilities:
“We are going to buy or lease some Trophy systems,
put them on M1A1 tanks, take that, use that, see how
it works.” Walsh said the Army will do the same on
Strykers and M1A2s:
“ We’ve seen aircraft and helicopters get shot
down in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’ll have the same
problem on the ground if we don’t get up in front of that
technology on the ground side also,” Walsh warned.
With Trophy now standard on the IDF's Merkava
Mk 4, the system is now being integrated into all
Namers, the Israeli designed APC. Namer ( “tiger”),
a heavily armored infantry fighting vehicle, is based
on the chassis of the Merkava Mk 4. It is used by the
Israeli army as a troop carrier and, according to some
sources, is among the world’s best-protected APCs,
providing soldiers with safety equal to that offered by
a modern MBT.
In response to the war in Gaza, in May 2015
Israel signed a $ 310 million deal - using US military
assistance funds - with General Dynamics Land
Systems, to produce heavy armed personnel carriers.
The six-year contract calls for GDLS to produce kits,
with final assembly taking place at an Israeli Ministry of
Defense facility south of Tel Aviv where local industry
will provide other components and subsystems. GDLS
previously had another contract — now concluded, and
also funded through US military assistance — for $250
million to produce Namer engines in the US.
" T he Namer is considered to be the most heavily
protected armored carrier in the world, and has proven
its capabilities in Operation Protective Edge against
myriad threats" the Israeli Ministry of Defense stated,
referring to the war in Gaza, adding that the vehicles
saved "many lives."
Previous to that war, the Israeli MoD had planned
to halve the number of Namers it ordered but an
incident in which seven infantrymen were killed
when an anti-tank missile hit their 50-year-old M113
changed that decision.
With the Merkava IV and the Namer the IDF will have
the best protected fleet of armored combat machines
in the world.
Rafael is continuing to upgrade the Trophy using the
combat experience it has gained so far.
25/10/2016 9:47 AM
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