An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicle fitted with the ASPRO-A (TROPHY) Active Protection System developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems successfully completed a series of evaluation tests at the U.S. Army Aberdeen proving Ground, as part of foreign APS evaluation mandatded by the U.S. Congress and Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD). During the six week testing, the system withstood numerous missiles and rockets attacks.
Rafael’s TROPHY is an operational Active Protection System (APS) currently fielded on the IDF Merkava Mk4 main battle tanks. The system passed its first combat engagement yesterday, successfully intercepting an RPG fired at a Merkava tank by a Palestinian guerillas.
The TROPHY Situational Awareness and Active Protection Hard Kill System, operates in three major stages: threat detection, threat tracking, followed by hard kill (HK) countermeasure (Multiple Explosive Formed Penetrators – MEFP) activation and threat neutralization. The countermeasure activation takes place only if the threat trajectory is aimed to hit the platform. In addition to the Active Protection, the TROPHY System provides the location of the threat’s launching point to the vehicle’s Battle Management Systems (BMS) and/or Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), thus enabling quick engagement with the target.
The recent tests in the U.S. were part of a broader evaluation of several APS from different vendors, including the South-African LEDS 150 system developed by Saab, the Israeli Iron-Fist from IMI, the TRAPS, produced by Textron Systems and Iron Curtain, developed by the u.S. company ARTIS. Other systems being tested were the FCLAS and IAAPS developed in the U.S. in the mid 2000s. Trophy was the last of seven systems tested as part of the program since 2009.
For the OSD evaluation Rafael has integrated the TROPHY System on an IDF Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicle utilizing a new configuration optimized for the vehicle. The Stryker system comprised the regular four panel ‘WindGuard’ radar, and two countermeasure units positioned on each side of the vehicle. “We chose to be evaluated on a Stryker to show TROPHY’s diversity – on one hand the system protects Merkava 4 MBT along Israel’s borders and on the other hand it can protect light and medium Armored Fighting Vehicles as they are part of the current battlefield” said Giora Katz, Corporate VP and General Manager of Land and Naval Sector at Rafael.
During the intensive six-week test program the system demonstrated its worth under complex combat scenarios, intercepting a variety of advanced threats from Anti-Tank Rockets (ATRs) and Guided Missiles (ATGMs), including those equipped with tandem warheads (defeating contemporary reactive armor protection). Test results were presented by OSD test manager to senior OSD and U.S Army representatives in a VIP day, on January 25th, 2011.
Rafael is currently developing another version known as TROPHY LIGHT, under an evaluation contract for the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) to be demonstrated on a Mine Protected Ambush Resistant (MRAP) All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). Beside offering the protection level required by the servcie, the application of such system on a smaller and lighter vehicle requires minimal modification to the vehicle, maintaining the system’s cost at acceptable level. For this evaluation, TROPHY-LIGHT will be evaluated along with the TRAPS, representing a non-kinetic RPG protection solution.