US Army Inks $193 Million Deal To Buy Invisible Futuristic Missile Shield

Back in April, we discussed how the U.S. Army M1 Abrams tank, an American third-generation main battle tank, was in the process of being upgraded with an invisible missile shield that will destroy all chemical energy anti-tank threats and other threats before reaching the vehicle.

It is part of a modernization program that the Pentagon is preparing its main battle tank for the next evolution of hybrid wars, expected to start in the mid-2020s, or before.

According to The Times of Israel, the U.S. Army awarded a contract worth $193 million for Israel’s TROPHY Active Protection System (APS) for its Abrams tanks “in support of immediate operational requirements,” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced.

Designed to block incoming anti-tank missile threats, the Trophy system has four radar antennas and fire-control radars to track incoming threats such as anti-tank-guided-missiles (ATGMs), and rocket-propelled grenades (RGPs). Once the system detects a projectile, it will automatically fire a shotgun-type blast to neutralize the threat.

Under the terms of the contract the TROPHY Active Protection System (APS), countermeasures, and maintenance kits will be supplied by the American defense contractor Leonardo DRS, Inc., which partnered with Rafael to manufacture them.

TROPHY Active Protection System (APS) will be manufactured in the United States and Israel, which is seen as a win for the Trump administration, as wartime marches closer.

The system, developed by Israel’s Rafael Defense, is the world’s first and only fully operational active defense system [invisible shield] and hostile detection system for armored vehicles. Rafael mentioned that over 1,000 systems had been deployed on all major Israeli ground combat platforms.

“Rafael has provided protection solutions to US service members for over two decades via lifesaving passive and reactive armor on vehicles such as Bradley, Stryker and AAV7. We are excited to continue to do so with TROPHY,” said Moshe Elazar, Executive Vice President and Head of Rafael’s Land and Naval Division.

 

“The majority of TROPHY components are manufactured by the American Defense Industry and we are excited by the opportunity to increase manufacturing in the U.S., including for Israeli systems, as the U.S. acquires additional systems,” Elazar added.

The Trophy Active Protection System (APS) has been mounted on Israel’s Merkava, the main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces since 2009, and has also been installed on the IDF’s armored personnel carrier vehicles. The system saw its first action in March 2011, when it thwarted an RPG attack on an IDF Merkava near the border with the Gaza Strip.

The system employs advanced algorithms that use radar to provide continuous 360-degree protection. The bolt on kit includes four antennas and two rotating launchers mounted on the turret of each tank (see below).

Once the threat is discovered, the algorithm classifies the threat, and if a direct hit is calculated, the countermeasure systems are automatically activated, and a tight pattern of explosively shaped penetrators launches at the warhead to neutralize the threat (as shown below).

Presenting at the U.S. Army’s annual convention and exhibition in Washington, D.C., Col. Glenn Dean, the Project Manager of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Combat Ground Systems was quoted last year by Military.com as saying the Trophy Active Protection System (APS) “exceeded expectations.”

“I tried to kill the Abrams tank 48 times and failed,” he said.

The Pentagon’s much-needed modernization efforts of invisible shields for its main battle tank suggests that the next major conflict could soon be on the horizon.

Video: U.S. Army’s Bassett discusses the Trophy Active Protection System, AMPV, Future Vehicle Tech

Comments

A Sentinel ???ö? Sun, 07/01/2018 - 21:09 Permalink

I remember the assholes, even in the top-tier physics research community— who said that abm was impossible. That was about 2002.

This is FAR more sophisticated and tricky than knocking out space-traveling ballistic weapons.

Technology is evolving rapidly. Particle beam accelerators and energy transmission pulses are next.

In reply to by ???ö?

Mazzy ScratInTheHat Sun, 07/01/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

I would not want to be on a tank crew either.  Sabot and/or tandem charges are still the order of the day and they are getting better and better.  Armor is not keeping up, and armor is expensive. 

Operating armor is becoming prohibitively expensive as well, especially when you consider that million dollar tanks are getting blown to bits (or at least heavily damaged) by dudes wearing sandals who consider their lives expendable and have perhaps $25 dollars worth of equipment on their persons.  Contrast that with the $400,000 SGLI payout to a dead American soldier's family plus another 100k allotted for funeral expenses.

You see, while the US military ONLY focused on offense for the past 80 years, everyone else in the world has been coming up with ways to mitigate US strengths and exploit our weaknesses.

And that, that might actually be a good thing for bringing about an era of peace, however brief.  If the US/Israel/Britain can't easily attack anyone anymore....maybe they just won't.

In reply to by ScratInTheHat

Stuck on Zero ???ö? Sun, 07/01/2018 - 23:00 Permalink

What we're seeing is a race to small defensive systems. Two ton Russian Sunburn missiles can be fired at a massive carrier but the massive carrier can carry hundreds of tiny 5 Kg RIM anti-missiles. Bombers are starting to carry very effective anti-missile defensive systems.  Maybe battleships will come back. The future belongs to the small and cheap.

In reply to by ???ö?

SILVERGEDDON vaporland Sun, 07/01/2018 - 20:04 Permalink

Wake me up when they are offering a system up on late night cable tee tee for low monthly payments.

And, I gotta get the  "but wait, if you order now, you get this Ginsu steak knife set for free" part of the deal too. 

I'm gonna set that shit up on my pick up and get our resident tech to trick fuck the software into deploying rounds into those fucking Prius drivers clogging up the passing lane doing the double nickel in a 70mph zone

Murrica, fuck yeah. Pass the beer and bacon. 

In reply to by vaporland

gregga777 roddy6667 Sun, 07/01/2018 - 21:43 Permalink

The explosively formed penetrator has to be formed in very close proximity to the armor otherwise too much kinetic energy is lost and it will fail to penetrate. If you don't mind losing your arm you can just rap an RPG against the armor and the EFP will penetrate the armor, assuming that it's within its penetration capabilities. 

In reply to by roddy6667

zob2020 Truther Sun, 07/01/2018 - 21:20 Permalink

lol.. what wont go wrong such as by telling the counter measure. Now it will be ridiculously easy to counter in the good old fashioned way of artillery and landmines. Completely unprotected.
Like who the hell still tries to sneak up to tanks to shoot a bazooka aside from conscription armies stuck in the 1940s equipment and doctrine -wise?

In reply to by Truther

Plus Size Model Truther Sun, 07/01/2018 - 23:24 Permalink

A lot can go wrong! A major issue with using MEFP warheads against missiles is the fragmentation and the large lethal zone.  The US Army previously rejected Raphael Trophy APS because of the dangers created for dismounted soldiers.  There are a few different versions of Trophy and it only has a 220 degree kill radius.  Trophy also has a low number of ready-to-fire countermeasures (4?) and they can't be reloaded in the field.  APS is worthless against IEDs. Furthermore, the system takes 1.5 seconds to reload.  APS radar might be easy to pick up by enemy radar too.  

 

This is bullshit for a number of reasons cited in the article linked to below:

“I tried to kill the Abrams tank 48 times and failed,” he said.

 

https://below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com/2017/01/hardkill-aps-overvie…

In reply to by Truther