Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit, modification by MathKnight.
Merkava Mk 4m main battle tank with Trophy Active Protection System (Windbreaker) during Operation Protective Edge.

Israel’s Defense Ministry and the German Federal Defense Ministry on Tuesday signed a government-to-government agreement to supply Rafael’s Trophy active protection system to the German military for the latter’s fleet of Leopard 2 tanks.

Trophy protects against a wide variety of anti-tank threats, while also maximizing the vehicle’s ability to identify the enemy location to crews and combat formation, thereby providing greater survivability and maneuverability in all combat theatres.

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The development of the Trophy program was led by the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT) in the Israeli Defense Ministry and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is currently deployed in more than 1,000 systems in all major IDF ground combat platforms (Merkava, Namer, Abrams, Stryker, and Bradley).

The agreement was signed by the Director-General of the Israel Defense Ministry, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel, and by an official in the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service-Support. It includes the provision of systems for a company of tanks, interceptors, and spare parts, as well as operational and technical training. The systems will be delivered over the next several years.

Trophy (a.k.a. Windbreaker) is a military active protection system (APS) designed to protect vehicles from ATGMs, RPGs, anti-tank rockets, and tank HEAT rounds. The system employs a small number of explosively formed projectiles to destroy incoming threats before they hit the vehicle. Its principal purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavily armored fighting vehicles.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement: “Once again, we see the appreciation that leading security institutions around the world have for Israel’s innovation and technology. Like any development of the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT), the Trophy is first and foremost a life-saving measure. It is the product of Israel’s groundbreaking defense industry, which is crucial to strengthening the state’s security. Germany’s expression of confidence in an Israeli system emphasizes the important relationship and close cooperation between our countries and highlights the strength of Israel’s industries.”

Head of the Directorate of Research and Development in the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, said: “This is a significant agreement, which further deepens the excellent relations between our two countries. We thank the German Defense Ministry for its expression of confidence in our defense establishment and in Israel’s industries. We are confident that the system will maximize the protection and capabilities of Germany’s MBTs.”

Head of the Combat Division of the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, Colonel Jürgen Schmidt said: “We are looking forward to using the very well-established Israeli Trophy system for the protection of our Main Battle Tank LEOPARD 2. We would like to thank the Ministry of Defense of the State of ISRAEL for its excellent cooperation concerning advanced active protection systems for the benefit of German troops.”

EVP and Head of Rafael’s Land and Naval Systems Division, Dr. Ran Gozali, said: “Germany is joining a group of nations who have chosen the TROPHY APS to protect their troops and assets from the ever-increasing threat of anti-armor warfare. We are thankful to the German government for joining other user nations and for their confidence in our system and our experience, and we look forward to working with KMW.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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