Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit
Merkava main battle tank with Trophy Active Protection System (Windbreaker) during Operation Protective Edge, July 20, 2014.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Announced last Thursday that its Trophy Active Protection System (APS) for armored vehicles had been selected for the next phase of detailed assessment and integration by the UK Ministry of Defense for the Army’s Challenger 3 MBT.

The Challenger 3 is a planned third-generation British main battle tank in development for British Army. It will be produced by conversion of existing Challenger 2 tanks by the British/German Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land joint venture.

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Rafael’s Trophy (a.k.a. Windbreaker) is designed to protect vehicles from anti-tank guided missiles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), anti-tank rockets, and high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds. Trophy employs a small number of explosively formed projectiles that destroy incoming threats before they hit the vehicle. Its principal purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavily armored fighting vehicles.

The British selection of the Trophy is the result of a study conducted by the UK MOD as part of an upgrade program led by prime contractor Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), which will entail detailed integration and system trials of this lighter Trophy variant (Trophy MV), to fit the particular requirements of this vehicle.

Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks, Trophy APS provides mature, combat-proven protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response. Trophy is the only fully integrated, combat-proven APS in the world and has been installed on the IDF’s Merkava tanks since 2010, as well as on the Namer APCs. Trophy has also been supplied to four US Army Abrams MBT brigades, and will soon be supplied to Germany for its Leopard MBT.

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. Trophy has accrued over 1,000,000 operating hours, including 5,400 successful field tests, and is now under contract for serial production of more than 1,800 systems.

David Farmer, Team Leader for the Challenger 3 delivery team at Defense, Equipment & Support, the procurement arm of the UK MOD, said in a statement: “I am delighted to welcome Rafael to our cohort of industry delivery partners who are working together to bring Challenger 3 to life. This is a significant program for Defence, and the British Army and represents a huge shift in the modernization of our land forces. The pioneering new technology that we are planning to use will allow us to deliver an immense warfighting capability.”

Brig. Gen (Ret.) Michael Lurie, head of Rafael’s land maneuverability systems directorate, said in a statement: “Trophy APS has saved the lives of numerous soldiers and has been instrumental in protecting assets on the battlefield and enabling tank crews to maneuver safely under anti-tank fire and perform their missions safely and fully. This system has changed the rules of the game in the armored warfare arena, and the UK’s decision to choose Trophy for the protection of its crews, ushers in a new era for its armored forces as well. We are thankful to our UK partners for joining other nations and tier-1 armored corps who have put their trust in Rafael’s Trophy APS.”

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