Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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US Army Abrams Tanks to be Defended by Israeli-made Trophy Active Protection System


(Photo : US Army) Iron Curtain APS on an Oshkosh L-ATV.

After dithering for years, the U.S. Army finally decided Chobham armor alone won't prevent the destruction of its expensive M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and has gone ahead with installing the Israeli-made Trophy active protection system (APS) on this MBT.

The Army also aims to deploy the Iron Curtain APS on M1126 Stryker Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICVs) and the Israeli-made Iron Fist APS on Bradley Fighting Vehicles if field tests with these two systems prove successful.

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Trophy intercepts and destroys incoming anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) using "neutralizing agents," which are small metal pellets that fan out like buckshot fired from a shotgun.

The pellets are fired from two rotating launchers installed on each side of the tank or vehicle. Incoming rounds are detected by four flat panel antennas mounted on the vehicle.

APS systems add an additional layer of protection for the tank or armored fighting vehile and its crew.

Trophy was developed after a decade of cooperation between the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries' Elta Group.

"The one that is farthest along in terms of installing it is ... Trophy on Abrams," said Lt. Gen. John Murray, Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-8.

"We're getting some pretty ... good results. It adds to the protection level of the tank. Trophy has an interesting capability, slew to cue. We're finding that we can incorporate that into the installation on the Abrams."

Gen. Bradley also said Iron Fist on the Bradley is "moving along."

The army's accelerated APS effort assesses the state-of-the art developments in APS technologies. This effort is being spearheaded by the United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center, the research and development facility for advanced technology in ground systems.

Iron Curtain is designed by Artis, an American technology development and manufacturing firm. It uses C-band radar, a distributed optical sensor and a ring of ballistic countermeasures to neutralize incoming threats.

The countermeasure fires straight down or up, neutralizing the incoming threat within inches of the vehicle.

Iron Fist is a hard-kill APS designed by Israel Military Industries that senses incoming threats using a radar sensor.

The system launches an explosive projectile interceptor towards a detected threat. The interceptor explodes very close to the threat, destroying, deflecting or destabilizing it without detonating its warhead.

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