US Army Europe has announced that as part of DEFENDER-Europe (July 14-Aug 22) that 55 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles will be deployed. “As part of the training, the unit will also mount the Trophy system on Abrams tanks. Trophy is an active protection system that is designed to detect and defeat rocket propelled grenades, recoilless rifles and anti-tank guided missiles. The fielding of Trophy systems provides the U.S. Army’s logistics teams with the opportunity to assess and experience the dynamics of moving and installing the system in a field environment,” the announcement notes.
This is the first ever reported operational deployment for Trophy with the US Army. The story was covered here. Defense Blog notes “The U.S. Army has announced on 10 July that it is decided to mount Trophy active protection system on Abrams tanks which will deploy to Poland. According to a press release issued Friday by the U.S. Army Europe, the fielding of Trophy systems provides the U.S. Army’s logistics teams with the opportunity to assess and experience the dynamics of moving and installing the system in a field environment.”
The US has ordered, evaluated and put Trophy on US Abrams tanks since 2019. For instance Defense News noted in 2019 “After evaluating two active protections systems — StrikeShield and Rafael’s Trophy VPS — in a 2018 demonstration, and determining neither were the right fit for an interim APS capability for the Stryker combat vehicle, it appears the door is opening back up for that capability. It is likely the solution the Army is evaluating from DRS and Rafael is Trophy VPS, Rafael’s lighter version of its Trophy APS system that is being fielded on Abrams tanks.”
The US ordered more of the system in January 2019and received them in October 2019. On October 15, 2019 Rafael noted “Leonardo DRS, Inc. and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel (RAFAEL) announced that the partners have delivered on time the first Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) to defend the US Army’s Abrams main battle tanks against a variety of anti-armor threats. This delivery marks the first of several that will ultimately outfit four brigades of tanks.”
RAFAEL CEO and President, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even said at the time of the delivery “marks a major milestone in U.S.-Israel cooperation. There is no greater pride and satisfaction than the knowledge that the technology developed by RAFAEL and ELTA over many years of investment, trials, and combat performance, will play an instrumental part in safeguarding American lives, just like it has saved Israeli lives and revolutionized the way our armored forces perform their missions. RAFAEL and Leonardo DRS are proud to deliver the first Trophy systems to US warfighters on time. We were tasked to meet challenging production timelines, an integration process and the most challenging test scenarios. I would like to thank our partners at Leonardo DRS for their support and I look forward to our continued cooperation.”