USA Ordering Trophy Active Protection Systems
In May 2006, “No Trophy for FCS, Iraq Troops – Raytheon HTK APS Selected” explained RAFAEL’s Trophy active protection system, which can defend against threats like anti-tank missiles, incoming tank shells, and even EFP land mines. Israel had delayed full deployment on own its tanks and APCs for budgetary reasons, but the lessons of the 2006 war in Lebanon drove home the need, and Trophy is headed into production and fielding as part of Israel’s Tefen procurement plan.
Now, the USA may have reached similar conclusions. From FBO Solicitation #N0017808R1002:
“The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, intends to purchase an Active Protection System from Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd., Haifa, Israel. The Trophy Active Protection System is the only known devise currently available that demonstrates a high technical maturity level of TRL 9 and robust logistics trail incumbent with current fielding activities and has demonstrated performance versus multiple threats with validated test data. A solicitation will not be posted. Contract award is estimated to be November 2007. “
Technology Readiness Level 9 refers to items proven in either operatational evaluation (OpEval) or actual mission operations, as opposed to system development (TRL 3-7) or even completion (TRL 8). RAFAEL also unveiled a Trophy Light system at Britain’s DSEi 2007 show for deployment on smaller vehicles, including its Golan mine-resistant vehicle.
Technically, Israeli rival IMI’s “Iron Fist” APS, which can be deployed on lighter vehicles just like Trophy Lite, may also qualify under TRL 9; there are reports that it has been deployed with some NATO armies.
Raytheon is also developing a “hit to kill” active protection system as part of the Future Combat Systems program, but Jane’s Defense Weekly reported on Oct 18/07 that the US Army has ordered design changes to that system after some rocket motors in an APS interceptor showed ‘splittage’ in recent testing (TRL 5-7, judged TRL 3 in May 2007).