U.S. Army M1 tanks will soon be equipped with anti-missile protection systems, now that the service has taken delivery of the Israeli-made active protection systems.
Leonardo DRS, Inc. and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. of Israel announced today that the team had delivered the first Trophy Active Protection Systems to the Army, roughly two years after the service began searching for ways to protect its tanks and armored vehicles from anti-armor missile threats from potential adversaries such as Russia and China.
"This delivery marks the first of several that will ultimately outfit four brigades of tanks," a release states.
In May of 2018, then Army Chief of Staff told Congress that the service planned to begin equipping the four heavy brigades with APS with in two years.
The Army's Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems awarded the two firms an initial contract worth up to $193 million for Trophy in June of 2018.
The two companies also received a January 2019 contract worth $79.6 million to provide the Army and Marine Corps with additional Trophy systems. A joint team of government and industry from both the U.S. and Israel worked together to adapt the Trophy system for both Army and Marine M1 variants.
"We are proud to deliver the first advanced defensive protection systems for our front-line tanks to give our warfighters a needed layer of survivability against real and emerging battlefield threats," William Lynn, CEO of Leonardo DRS, said in the release.
Developed by Rafael, Trophy is the only combat-proven APS in the world, the release states. The system was first deployed in 2011 and is currently installed on the Israel Defense Force's Merkava Mk3 and Mk4 tanks and its armored personnel carriers.
"Trophy has made numerous combat interceptions with no injuries to crews, dismounted troops or damage to platforms," the release states. "Having undergone over 4,000 successful field tests, Trophy has accrued over 500,000 operating hours, and is now under contract for serial production for thousands of systems."
Retired IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Har-Even, president and CEO of Rafael, described the delivery as a "major milestone in U.S.-Israel cooperation."
"There is no greater pride and satisfaction than the knowledge that the technology developed by Rafael ... 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," Har-Even said in the release.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.