The Israeli and German Defense Ministries have signed an agreement to equip the German Leopard 2A7A1 tanks with the TROPHY Active Protection System. The government-to-government (G2G) agreement covers the supply of APS to equip 17 tanks making a single company of the German Army. The contract signed between KMW, the prime contractor for the tank and TROPHY manufacturer RAFAEL provides for systems, interceptors, and spare parts, operational and technical training. Systems will be delivered over several years. According to KMW, the integration of the systems on the Leopard 2A7A1 will be completed in 2023. RAFAEL expects that in the future Germany will procure additional Trophy systems to equip most of its modern fleet of Leopard 2 MBTs.
The 17 tanks being delivered with TROPHY following the integration phase will not be ready in time to equip the German combined force destined to lead the NATO Very High Joint Readiness Task Force (VJTF) in that year. For this contingency the German Army currently plans to deploy 30 Leopard A7V tanks, these models will not be equipped with the Trophy.
From illustrations released by KMW the Trophy configuration on the Leopard 2 tank looks different from those configured on the Israeli Merkava Mk4 and the M1A2 SEPV2. The system allocates two ELM2133 WindGuard radars emplaced in armored boxes covering the front arc, while the interceptors, magazines and radars placed in an integrated assembly on the turret’s sides, covering the rear sector left and right. Another change is the blast deflector using transparent armor, improving the situational awareness for the commander and loader.
Trophy has accrued over 1,000,000 operating hours, including 5,400 successful field tests, and is now under contract for serial production of over 1,800 systems. The world’s first and only fully-integrated, combat-proven APS, TROPHY has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010, as well as on the Namer heavy APCs. Trophy has made numerous combat interceptions with no injuries to crews or dismounted troops or damage to platforms since its first operational interception in 2011.
In January, Rafael and partner DRS announced that they had completed the delivery of Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) ordered by the U.S. Army for installation on M1A2SEPV2 Abrams main battle tanks, under contracts awarded on an urgent need basis by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems. Most of these tanks will be deployed with US Army heavy brigades stationed in Europe.