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Land Platforms

US military buys additional Trophy APS, Rafael pushes light version for Bradley and Stryker

08 January 2019
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US soldiers in an M1 Abrams tank compete in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at the Grafenwoehr training area in Germany in June 2018. The US Army will field Rafael’s Trophy APS on its Abrams tanks. Source: US Army

In the US military's bid to protect troops inside its M1 Abrams main battle tanks from incoming threats such as anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, the army and US Marine Corps (USMC) are purchasing additional Israeli-built Trophy active protection systems (APSs).

Leonardo DRS, Rafael's US-based partner, announced on 8 January that it has received a contract initially worth up to USD79.6 million to provide the services with additional Trophy systems. The latest contract pushes the programme's funded value more than USD200 million.

"Leonardo DRS is proud of the confidence shown by the army in deciding to field Trophy to even more US combat brigades," said Aaron Hankins, vice-president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Systems division. "Together with our Rafael partners, we are fully committed to meeting our customers' demands and are working in parallel to further address the urgent protection needs of other US platforms."

The company declined to discuss the specific number of APSs acquired under the latest contract or how they will be split between the army and USMC.

With a proliferation of anti-tank guided missiles and the Pentagon preparing for a potential ground conflict with Russian forces, the army evaluated three APSs: Rafael's Trophy on the Abrams tank, IMI Systems' (now owned by Elbit Systems) Iron Fist on the M2 Bradley, and Artis' Iron Curtain on the Stryker. Trophy was the first system flagged to proceed. Then, in November, the Army's Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) decided Iron Fist will move into the next phase of urgent qualification testing, and plans to urgently field "at least a brigade's worth of capability", according to Ashley John, the army's public affairs director for the Program Executive Officer - Ground Combat Systems.

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