Sensors linked to shotgun like systems defend against rocket propelled grenades

Trophy (aka ASPRO-A or Windbreaker) is a military active protection system (APS) for vehicles. It intercepts and destroys incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast. Trophy is the product of a ten-year collaborative development project between the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries’ Elta Group. Its principal purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavy armored fighting vehicles.

The system became operational in 2009, has since been successfully tested by live fire twice when Israeli tank patrols on the periphery of Gaza were fired on two years ago. The 2014 Gaza campaign was the first time the system is being tested in a face-to-face war against advanced Russian anti-tank rockets. In the 2006 Lebanon War against Hezbollah, missiles penetrated 22 Israeli tanks, destroying several.

The system’s sensors instantly identify a rocket or RPG heading toward it. Without intervention of the crew, the system fires pellets that detonate the rocket at a safe distance from the tank. It also informs the crew of the location from which the incoming rocket was launched, permitting counter-fire.

Rafael’s ASPRO-A (a.k.a “Trophy”) Active Protection System’s radar (Elta EL/M-2133 WindGuard) and dummy launcher (blue) atop Merkava Mark 4 tank

In 2014, Hamas already knew that the Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system and Trophy APS (Active Protection System) anti-missile defense for vehicles worked. Most APS consist of a radar to detect incoming missiles and small rockets to rush out and disable the incoming threat. During the 2014 Gaza war Iron Dome and Trophy kept working reliably. Worse, the Israeli intelligence efforts and air force operations were a lot more effective at finding and destroying rockets before they could be launched than Hamas expected. The only success Hamas has had is the higher (that previous wars) Israeli losses to bobby traps, mines, bombs and ambushes.

Trophy makes Israeli tanks virtually invulnerable and able to do a lot of damage to front line Hamas fighters.

Trophy Light

A new version called “Trophy Light” was unveiled by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems at Britain’s DSEi 2007. While the standard Trophy was designed for main battle tanks, Trophy Light is designed for integration with light and medium armored vehicles, such as Rafael’s Golan. The system is also being evaluated for the protection of Israel Navy fast patrol boats, which, like the tanks, are exposed to RPG and missile attacks. It is expected to be about half the weight and volume of the standard Trophy and cost less. According to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the development will only require design and engineering work on the launcher/loader and munitions.

Trophy LV

In June 2014, Rafael unveiled Trophy LV, a lighter application of the system designed to offer protection to light military vehicles (less than 8 tons) such as jeeps and 4x4s. It weights 200 kilos, significantly less than other Trophy application

A Jeep with a Trophy LV system

The Institute for Defense Analyses analyzed 15 active protection systems, including Trophy and Quick Kill, and found Trophy to be the top system. In March 2006, Pentagon testers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren tested Trophy. An official involved with the tests told NBC that Trophy “worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.

The Russian rocket-propelled grenade RPG-30 is designed to overcome these tank defense systems.

In response to concerns that the RPG-30 had fallen into the hands of Hezbollah fighters, Israel Defense reported that the Rafael weapons development authority developed a defense system called the “Trench Coat” that can counteract the RPG-30, by utilizing a 360-degree radar to detect all threats and, in the case of one, launch 17 projectiles, one of which should strike the incoming missiles.

SOURCES – Wikipedia, strategy Page, Free Beacon