The US Army’s 2019 budget will upgrade 261 M1 tanks, enough for three brigades, to carry Israeli-made Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) to counter anti-tank missiles. There is also an increase in artillery and equipment to deter Russia from attempting to overrun Eastern Europe or to fight in a longer, high-intensity war with North Korea.
The Trophy APS comes on top of other long-planned improvements in the M1 Abrams main battle tank, including new infrared sights, reinforced armor, and improved horsepower and electrical power to handle all the upgrades.
Trophy has been operational on Israeli tanks since 2009. Russia has had various active protection systems on its tanks since the 1980s.
The Trophy system, designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is the only APS in testing that has seen combat and actually defeated advanced anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) threats.
“We intend to field those to first responding units, and we will eventually field them throughout the force for the entire total Army — Guard, Reserve and active,” Milley said.
Trophy intercepts and destroys incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast. Trophy was 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.
Called Active Protection Systems, or APS, the technology uses sensors and radar, computer processing, fire control technology and interceptors to find, target and knock down or intercept incoming enemy fire such as RPGs and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, or ATGMs.
The sensors detect the incoming threat and a computer controlled shotgun blasts the missile.