The German army will test the Israeli developed Trophy protection system for its Leopard 2 tanks

JERUSALEM, Israel ( – The German army will soon test the Israeli developed Trophy protection system for its Leopard 2 tanks, learned

The initial trials on the Leopard 2 are expected to begin this year, with the system’s integration and testing completed by 2021. A total of 17 tanks will be equipped with the APS, with a unit training and qualifying to operate it by the following year.

An Israeli source said that the advanced tests of the systems are scheduled for later this year.

Germany’s Bundeswehr operates 328 Leopard 2 tanks of three types – the 2A6, 2A6M and 2A7. The Leopard 2 has also served in the militaries of 12 other countries and several non-European nations, including Canada, Indonesia and Turkey, and seen combat in Afghanistan and Syria, where they suffered heavy losses from anti-tank guided missiles.

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The Trophy Active Protection System (APS), developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world. According to Rafael, the company has provided some 1,000 systems to all major IDF ground combat platforms.

The first combat experience of the Trophy was in March 2011 in an operation at the Gaza border, when a Trophy-equipped Merkava Mk4 tank destroyed an RPG-29 rocket with no damage to the protected tank or its four-man crew.

Since then, the Trophy has been activated “hundreds of times” and neutralized “dozens “of threats.

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The most impressive success was during the 2014 “Protective Edge” operation in Gaza, when the Hamas fired a variety of anti-tank weapons on the Israeli Merkava Mk 4 tanks and Namer APC’s.

In at least one encounter , the Trophy proved itself protecting a Merkava Mk 4 tank against a Russian made Kornet anti-tank missile from a distance of some 4 kilometers.

According to Rafael, the Trophy is also a situational awareness system that provides the tank or APC crew with real time information about a developing threat “After the first rocket or missile is intercepted , the data from the system’s sensors allows the crew to operate its weapons to suppress any more incoming threats or relay the data to other platforms carrying weapons on the ground and in the air”

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When a threat is detected by the Trophy , the hard kill is made by a projectile that is not carrying explosives “This is a kinetic kill that creates almost none danger to infantry soldiers that may be in the vicinity of the attacked armored vehicle”. According to Rafael this has been demonstrated in combat numerous times in densely populated areas and other urban scenarios.

This neutralization without detonation, is one of the most remarkable features of the Trophy.

The projectile does not activate the warhead of the incoming weapon rocket or missile.

According to Rafael, Trophy has an open architecture, and this enables the easy integration of other weapon systems, including a soft kill capability. The neutralization process takes place only if the threat is about to hit the platform.

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Source: reported by Arie Egozi