TROPHY Active Protection System
Trophy is an active protection system
Active protection system
An active protection system is a system designed to prevent sensor-based weapons from acquiring and/or destroying a target....

 (APS), designed to supplement the armor of both light and heavy armored fighting vehicles. It intercepts and destroys incoming missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

s and rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

s with a shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

-like blast. Trophy is the product of a ten-year collaborative development project between the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries
Israel Aircraft Industries
Israel Aerospace Industries or IAI is Israel's prime aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial systems for both military and civilian usage. It has 16,000 employees as of 2007...

' Elta
ELTA Systems LTD is an Israeli provider of defense products and services specializing in radar, C4ISTAR, RF, SIGINT and EW products.Elta, a group and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, is one of Israel's major defence electronics companies specializing in a variety of fields...


In August 2009, following a series of tests, the IDF Ground Forces Command declared the Trophy operational. It is scheduled to be installed in an entire battalion of Israeli Armored Corps tanks by 2010.

On March 1st, 2011, Trophy successfully destroyed an anti-tank missile launched from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 toward a Merkava
The Merkava is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces. The tank began development in 1974 and was first introduced in 1978. Four main versions of the tank have been deployed. It was first used extensively in the 1982 Lebanon War...

 Mark IV tank near Nir Oz
Nir Oz
Nir Oz is a kibbutz in southern Israel. It is located in the northwestern Negev desert between Magen and Nirim, and covers 20,000 dunams. Nir Oz is under the jurisdiction of Eshkol Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 348...



The system is currently being integrated onto Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Merkava main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s in the Israeli Army. The design includes the Elta
ELTA Systems LTD is an Israeli provider of defense products and services specializing in radar, C4ISTAR, RF, SIGINT and EW products.Elta, a group and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, is one of Israel's major defence electronics companies specializing in a variety of fields...

 EL/M-2133 F
F band
The F band is the range of radio frequencies from 90 GHz to 140 GHz in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is equal to wave lengths between 2.1 mm and 3.3 mm...

/G band
G band
-NATO G band:The G band in the modern sense is the range of radio frequencies from 4 GHz to 6 GHz in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is equal to wave lengths between 7.5 cm and 5 cm...

 fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas mounted on the vehicle, with a 360-degree field of view. When a weapon is fired at the vehicle, the internal computer uses the signal from the incoming weapon and calculates an approach vector. Once the incoming weapon is fully classified, the computers calculate the optimal time and angle to fire the neutralizers. The response comes from two rotating launchers installed on the sides of the vehicle. The launchers fire the neutralizing agents, which are usually small metal pellets like buckshot. The system is designed to have a very small kill zone, so as not to endanger troops adjacent to the protected vehicle.

The system is designed to work against all types of anti-tank missiles and rockets, including handheld weapons such as rocket propelled grenade
Rocket propelled grenade
A rocket-propelled grenade is a shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system which fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead. These warheads are affixed to a rocket motor and stabilized in flight with fins. Some types of RPG are reloadable while others are single-use. RPGs, with the exception of...

s. The system can simultaneously engage several threats arriving from different directions, is effective on stationary or moving platforms, and is effective against both short and long-range threats. Newer versions of the system include a reload feature for multiple firings. The Trophy development roadmap includes an enhanced countermeasure unit to be available in the future for protection against kinetic energy penetrator
Kinetic energy penetrator
A kinetic energy penetrator is a type of ammunition which, like a bullet, does not contain explosives and uses kinetic energy to penetrate the target....



The primary role of Trophy is defense against missile strikes, particularly for lighter armored personnel carriers, which are very vulnerable to rocket attacks. Use of Trophy on the Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

 vehicle will remove the need for the heavy slat armor to defend against high explosive antitank (HEAT) warheads, and allow a battle-ready vehicle to fit into a C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 cargo aircraft; Slat armor must be removed before the vehicle is loaded into the plane and reattached at the destination. This process in turn takes over 100 hours of cutting and welding, making it impractical under combat conditions. In addition, the newer, smaller size will improve the vehicle's ability to negotiate urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...


Trophy Light

A new version called "Trophy Light" was unveiled by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in September 2007. While the standard Trophy was designed for main battle tanks, Trophy Light is designed for integration with light and medium armored vehicles, such as Rafael's Golan
Golan Armored Vehicle
The Golan Wheeled Armored Vehicle is a prototype Israeli infantry fighting vehicle made by the Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems jointly with the American Protected Vehicles Incorporated...

. It is expected to be about half the weight and volume of the standard Trophy and cost less. According to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the development will only require design and engineering work on the launcher/loader and munitions.

Tests by the United States

MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 has reported that there is resistance to incorporating Trophy in the US Army. The U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 has contracted with Raytheon
Raytheon Company is a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007...

 to develop an equivalent system, Quick Kill, which will not be ready before 2011 at the earliest (but now declines to say whether it still is on course to meet that deadline),
whereas Trophy could be deployed much sooner. Quick Kill is more similar to Israel's other developing active protection system, Iron Fist
Iron Fist Active Protection System
Iron Fist is a hard-kill active protection system designed by Israel Military Industries , with a modular design allowing adaptation to a range of platforms ranging from light utility vehicles to heavy armoured fighting vehicles. The concept was revealed by IMI in 2006 and was expected to enter...

. According to MSNBC's sources, the reason for not adopting Trophy for now is that it would remove the need for the Raytheon program.

The Institute for Defense Analyses
Institute for Defense Analyses
The Institute for Defense Analyses is a non-profit corporation that administers three federally funded research and development centers to assist the United States government in addressing important national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise...

 analyzed 15 active protection systems, including Trophy and Quick Kill, and found Trophy to be the top system. In March 2006, Pentagon testers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
The United States Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division , named for Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, is located in Dahlgren, Virginia and is part of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The NSWCDD was founded as the U.S...

 tested Trophy. An official involved with the tests told NBC that Trophy “worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.”

The Government Accountability Office has since reviewed the Army's actions and issued a report that concluded that the Army and Boeing, the FCS lead systems integrator, followed the regulations to avoid conflicts of interest; that although Raytheon's technology is not mature, the Army estimated that a prototype for current vehicles could be delivered by 2009; that Army officials found Trophy tests to be unrealistic, and worried that integrating Trophy would delay fielding other capabilities.

According to the DOD Buzz the United States will be testing the trophy system on a Stryker vehicle in 2010.

On 28 February 2011, Trophy manufacturer, Rafael, announced that the system completed a successful evaluation in the USA. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicle fitted with TROPHY, a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Active Protection System, withstood numerous missile and rocket attacks under a six-week test and evaluation program by the office of the US Secretary of Defense.

Combat history

On the 1st of March 2011, a Merkava MK IV stationed near the Gaza border, equipped with the trophy system foiled a missile attack aimed toward it, and became the first operational success of the trophy armor defense system.
On 20 March 2011, a missile was fired toward a Merkava MK IV tank equipped with trophy system inside the Israeli area along the perimeter fence of the Gaza Strip, the system identified the shooting, but calculated that it did not endanger the tank, and no intercept occurred. The system passed information about the shooting and the tank crew returned fire toward the source of fire.

Possible countermeasures

On 12 November 2009, Ph.D. Vladimir Korenkov, who led Russian state unitary enterprise “Basalt” from 2000 to 2009, stated that “The Israeli system of active protection of tanks, “Trophy”, as any other similar systems, can be evaded”. One of the activities of this enterprise was to develop rocket-propelled grenades, designed to destroy modern armament. The rocket-propelled grenade RPG-30
The RPG-30 is a Russian hand held anti-tank grenade launcher.-History:The RPG-30 was unveiled in 2008 by the State Research and Production Enterprise, Bazalt as a modern anti-tank grenade launcher designed to address the threat of reactive armor and active protection systems on tanks...

, according to Vladimir Korenkov, is designed to overcome these tank defense systems. "All the existing active protection systems in the world share the same idea. This is a radar homing at some distance, close or far, to destroy the target with a warhead that creates fragment stream and explosive field. These systems have common flaws. First of all, the duty cycle, i.e. the time interval of the system response to the threat. RPG-30 easily defeats such a protection system. There is a smaller diameter precursor round in addition to the main round. This precursor acts as a false target spoofing the APS into engaging it and allowing the main round (following the precursor after a slight delay) a clear path to the target, while the APS is stuck in the 0.2 - 0.4 second delay needed to start its next engagement. This time interval is sufficient for defeating the Israeli system."

External links

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